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Custard / Pastry cream

Pastry cream, also known as custard cream, encompasses a diverse range of recipes rather than a single formula. It typically involves cooking milk or heavy cream with egg or egg yolk and flour or starch to achieve a thickened consistency. The specific ingredients and proportions vary depending on the desired outcome or intended use.

The recipe presented here focuses on achieving a smooth texture while minimizing fat content. Despite the absence of heavy cream, it maintains stability, making it suitable for various applications such as toppings or fillings.


  • 250g Whole milk If lactose intolerant or seeking specific flavors, vegetable milk such as coconut or almond milk can be substituted (important is to have at least 8% fat). In case you wish a thicker texture heavy cream can be used (e.g. 125g milk and 125g heavy cream).

  • 4 Egg yolks

  • 20g Corn starch Rice starch is an alternative option. While flour can be used, it may lead to separation over time compared to starch.

  • 65g Icing sugar Granulated sugar can be used but blending it is recommended for easier mixing with corn starch and to prevent sugar crystals from burning the egg yolk. If using granulated sugar, whisk it with the egg yolks until melted before adding starch and milk.

  • 1 Vanilla pod High-quality vanilla pods are recommended for the best flavor. Vanilla extract can be used but may result in a less intense flavor and affect the texture.


  1. Place a bowl in the freezer to chill. It will be used later.

  2. Scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add them to a saucepan along with the milk (you can also place the pod in the saucepan after scraping its seeds). Heat the mixture over low heat until it comes to a simmer.

  3. While the milk is heating, combine the icing sugar and corn starch, then whisk them together with the egg yolks.

  4. Once the milk begins to simmer, gradually pour it into the egg yolk mixture while continuously whisking. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat.

  5. Whisk the mixture constantly until it thickens (it should reach 82°C degrees), then remove it from the heat.

  6. To cool the mixture rapidly, retrieve the chilled bowl from the freezer and transfer the cream into it. Whisk the cream to help it cool down.

  7. Cover the surface of the cream with plastic wrap, ensuring it makes direct contact, and refrigerate for a few hours to set.

  8. When you're ready to use the pastry cream, whisk it again until smooth, either by hand or with a stand mixer.


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