How to make crème pâtissière (French pastry cream)

Crème pâtissière (also known as pastry cream) is a rich, creamy custard made of milk, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. While not an item in itself,  it is a key ingredient of many French desserts such as éclairs, fruit tarts, soufflés and mille-feuille. It is usually flavored with vanilla, but it can be easily refined with almost any flavor; chocolate, coffee or even a splash of brandy.


How to make crème pâtissière

  • Servings: 1 portion
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60g of fine sugar
  • 25g of plain flour
  • 2tsps of cornstarch
  • 280ml of milk
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1tsp of vanilla extract


  1. Beat the egg yolks and sugar for a few minutes until pale and slightly thickened.

  2. Whisk in the flour and the starch.

  3. Bring the milk and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan then remove from heat.

  4. Whisk the hot milk into the egg mix.

  5. Put the whole lot back into the pan, stirring all the time until thick and boiling.

  6. Take the pan off the heat, cover with cling-film to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool and place in the fridge until needed.

Tip: For a silky smooth finish, whisk the crème pâtissière before using.


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