Vanilla Pastry Cream
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe yields approximately 280g of pastry cream. If you plan to serve it on its own, this is enough to serve 2 people.
  • 180ml (or ¾ cup) milk
  • 60ml (or ¼ cup) whipping cream
  • 40g (or 3 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • ¼ of a vanilla bean
  • 20g (or 7½ teaspoons) cornstarch or (custard powder)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 10g (or 2½ teaspoons) granulated sugar
  1. Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In a small saucepan, combine the scraped vanilla bean and the vanilla seeds with the milk, cream and 40 grams of sugar.
  2. Place the cornstarch or custard powder in a small bowl. Add a splash of the milk mixture to it and stir to a paste. This prevents lumps. Add a splash more of the milk and stir smooth. Add the yolks and the 10 grams of sugar and whisk together. In the meantime, gently heat the milk mixture to a simmer.
  3. Once the mixture is simmering, fish out the vanilla bean and discard. Slowly add the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking the egg mixture continuously. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Heat over low to medium-high heat while whisking continuously until the mixture thickens and bubbles are starting to appear. You now have pastry cream!
  4. Pour the pastry cream through a sieve to make sure there aren’t any lumps or stray bits vanilla bean in it.
  5. NOTE: At this point, you can serve the pastry cream as a warm dessert. If you plan to either serve the pastry cream at room temperature or cold, or use it as a filling for cakes, pies or other pastries, proceed to the next step.
  6. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let it come to room temperature before placing it in the fridge to chill.
  7. Use the pastry cream as a silky smooth filling for all kinds of pastries or serve it at room temperature in a cute little bowl all on its own or with a little dollop of whipped cream and some fresh berries to fancy it up a bit.
Recipe by The Tough Cookie at