Wendy’s Recipes

How to Make Pastry Cream (Crème Pâtissière Recipe)

20 servings


3 hours 35 minutes

total time


2 cups (455g) whole milk

1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (see note)

4 ounces granulated sugar (1/2 cup; 115g), plain or toasted

1 ounce (3 tablespoons; 30g) cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume

Yolks from 4 large eggs, straight from the fridge (2 1/2 ounces; 70g)

1 ounce unsalted butter (2 tablespoons; 30g), cut into 1/2-inch cubes


In a 2-quart stainless steel saucier, combine milk and scraped vanilla bean along with its seeds. Bring to a bare simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat, cover to prevent evaporation, and let steep for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, set up an ice bath by partially filling it with a combination of cold water and ice. Set aside.

In a medium heatproof mixing bowl set on top of a dampened towel (this serves as a stable base), stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in egg yolks until mixture is pale yellow, smooth, and fluffy, about 1 minute.

Uncover infused milk and remove vanilla bean (see note). While whisking continuously, slowly pour milk into egg yolk mixture in a thin stream, until all of it has been added.

Return the mixture to the same saucier. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until pastry cream begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Once it thickens, continue to whisk, pausing every few seconds to check for bubbles, about 1 minute. When it begins to bubble, set a timer and continue whisking for 1 minute. This step is important to neutralize a starch-dissolving protein found in egg yolks.

Off-heat, whisk in butter until melted and thoroughly combined. Strain pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a heatproof medium bowl. Immediately place plastic wrap or buttered parchment paper directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer bowl to prepared ice bath to chill for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.

When ready to use the pastry cream, whisk until smooth.


Serving Size

Makes 2 1/2 cups


65 kcal

Total Fat

3 g

Saturated Fat

2 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



43 mg


28 mg

Total Carbohydrate

8 g

Dietary Fiber

0 g

Total Sugars

7 g


1 g

20 servings


3 hours 35 minutes

total time
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