PASTRY CREAM a.k.a. Vanilla Pudding


Simply, a vanilla pudding, that is rich with egg yolk. This is the “mortar” in such desserts as pate Sucre fruit tarts, cream puffs, boston cream pies, and English trifle.

You may incorporate a little liqueur at the end such as Grand mariner, or Kahlua.

Alternative: To make vanilla pudding for banana pudding cups, increase sugar to 1/2 cup, and increase milk to 2 cups and for extra richness use all half and half.


  • 1 1/4 cups milk (whole)

  • 1/2 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt


Beat eggs to incorporate air. Mix sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt & egg yolks and stir into eggs making smooth creamy paste. In small saucepan bring milk and vanilla to simmer. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean, if using. Add a few tablespoons of warm milk to egg mixture to  slowly temper the eggs, adding more as you go, while whisking continuously. Place egg and milk mixture over heat and bring back to almost boiling, a false boil with 3-4 bubbles breaking the surface or about 185 ºF while whisking. Whisk another 30 seconds after this point but don’t take over 200ºF so it doesn’t curdle.

Remove from heat, and if desired, put through a fine seive, and pour into bowl or individual cups to cool. Place plastic wrap or waxed paper directly onto the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerated until needed.


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