Pastry cream secret recipe


2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks (optional, for added richness)


  1. Infuse the Milk:
    Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. If using a vanilla bean, add the split bean and the scraped seeds to the milk. If using vanilla extract, wait to add it later.

Heat the milk over medium heat until it just begins to simmer. Do not let it boil.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the milk sit for about 10-15 minutes to infuse with the vanilla flavor.

  1. Prepare the Egg Mixture:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar, and cornstarch until smooth and pale. This will take about 2-3 minutes of vigorous whisking.
  2. Temper the Eggs:
    Slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the warm milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling.
    Gradually add the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining warm milk, whisking constantly.
  3. Cook the Pastry Cream:
    Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat.
    Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and begins to bubble. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
    Once the mixture is thick and smooth, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes to ensure the cornstarch is fully cooked and the cream is smooth.
  4. Finish the Pastry Cream:
    Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the butter pieces until fully melted and incorporated.
    If using vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, add it now and stir to combine.
    For an extra velvety texture and richness, gently fold in the whipped heavy cream (optional).
  5. Strain and Chill:
    Pour the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl to remove any lumps and the vanilla bean pod (if used).
    Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
    Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until completely chilled and set.


Smooth Texture: Whisking constantly while cooking and straining the pastry cream ensures a silky-smooth texture.
Flavor Variations: For a different flavor, try infusing the milk with a cinnamon stick, coffee beans, or citrus zest.
Storage: Pastry cream can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir it gently before using to restore its smooth consistency.
Pastry cream is versatile and can be used in many desserts, including:

Éclairs and Cream Puffs: Pipe the pastry cream into choux pastry shells for a classic treat.
Fruit Tarts: Fill a pre-baked tart shell with pastry cream and top with fresh fruit for a beautiful and delicious dessert.

Layered Cakes: Spread pastry cream between layers of sponge cake for an indulgent filling.

Danish Pastries: Use pastry cream as a filling for flaky Danish pastries.
With this secret recipe, you’ll be able to create the perfect pastry cream every time, adding a touch of luxury to your homemade desserts. Enjoy!

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