Making a vanilla pastry cream has been a challenge for me several times in the past. Actually so simple, but it was either too liquid or too lumpy, but never the way I wanted it to be. I used custard powder and it did not work. That’s why I thought: why shouldn’t I also make the vanilla pastry cream completely from scratch? So here we go…and: it worked right away.
This recipe is great, because this pastry cream is done in no time and always works. You don’t need any special skills or any fancy tools. A saucepan, a whisk, a bowl and a fine-mesh strainer – that’ s all it takes.
Tools & Equipment
- Fine-mesh strainer
- Jar or an airtight container for storage
- Liquid measuring cup
- Medium bowl
- Medium saucepan
- Silicone spatula
Avoid Skin Formation: the prepared vanilla pastry cream is placed in the fridge to chill. It is important to cover the surface of the cream directly with plastic foil to prevent a skin from forming on the cream.
Cook the Cream: bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for 1 minute and stir constantly. Temperature and stirring are key for a perfect pastry cream.
How to Make Vanilla Pastry Cream
Have all ingredients together and start by weighing them.
Add sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until combined.
Beat together milk and egg yolk in a liquid measuring cup and add to the saucepan along with the butter.
Bring to a boil over medium heat and let it simmer for about 1 minute while stirring all the time. Stir in vanilla and remove from the heat.
Strain the pastry cream into a bowl with a fine-mesh strainer. Cover with plastic wrap and press it directly onto the surface of the cream. Place in the fridge until completely cool, for at least 2 hours.
Storage: you can keep the pastry cream in the bowl covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container (also cover the surface of the cream directly with plastic) for up to 3 days in the fridge.
My Summary for Vanilla Pastry Cream
Difficulty : simple.
Taste: this cream tastes slightly sweet and has a wonderful vanilla taste.
Texture: light and very creamy.
PROS: the recipe is simple and the cream is made quickly. It is excellent as a filling for e.g. tarts or pastries, etc.
Pastry Cream – a perfect filling for
- 100g granulated sugar
- 30g cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 480ml whole milk, at room temperature
- 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 30g butter
- 6g vanilla extract
- Add sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until combined.
- Whisk together milk and egg yolk in a liquid measuring cup and add to the saucepan along with the butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Let it boil for 1 minute while stirring constantly.
- Stir in vanilla and remove from the heat.
- Strain the pastry cream into a bowl by using a fine-mesh strainer.
- Use plastic wrap to cover the cream and press directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent it from forming a skin.
- Place in the fridge until it has completely cooled, at least for 2 hours.
- When ready to use, stir the cream one more time with a silicone spatula until it is smooth.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.