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Pastry Cream

This recipe is used in our Heavenly Creme Brulee Cake.

  • Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups
Pastry Cream

Photography: Romulo Yanes

Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Summer 2013


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla-bean scrapings and pod, and salt. Place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Using a measuring cup or ladle, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg-yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue adding milk mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, until it has all been added. Pour mixture back into the saucepan and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture returns to a simmer and thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the vanilla-bean pod.

  3. Transfer mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and beat on medium until butter melts and mixture cools, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer, and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin forming. Refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Just before using, remove from the refrigerator and return to a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth, or whisk by hand until smooth.

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