Pastry Cream
VARIATIONS: For Chocolate Custard you will add 4 ounces (115g) Semi Sweet Baking Chocolate to the hot custard with the butter just before straining.
For Mocha Custard you will prepare the chocolate custard and then add 3 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 teaspoons of hot water.
Serves: 6 Cups
  • Whole Milk 4 cups (948ml)
  • Fresh Large Eggs 2 (100g)
  • Fresh Large Yolks 4 (72g)
  • Granulated Sugar 1 cup (200g)
  • Cornstarch ½ cup (65g)
  • Vanilla Bean 1 Or Vanilla Extract 1 Tablespoon
  • Unsalted Butter 6 Tablespoons (85g)
  1. In a medium bowl place the whole eggs, egg yolks and cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of the sugar and whisk vigorously to smooth out any lumps.
  2. In a large sauce pot combine the milk and remaining sugar with the vanilla bean split and scraped of all it's seeds and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the milk comes to a boil you will remove from the heat and slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the eggs/cornstarch mixture while constantly whisking with your free hand. This is called "tempering the eggs"
  4. Once you have poured about half of the milk into the eggs, pour the entire egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of the milk.
  5. Place back on the stove over high heat and while constantly stirring with a wooden spoon, you will cook until the entire mixture is bubbling again.
  6. Once it has bubbled like I show in the video, remove from heat, discard the vanilla bean and add the butter. If you are using vanilla extract, you will add it now.
  7. Pour custard through a fine mesh strainer and directly into your storage vessel, preferably a shallow casserole dish for faster cooling.
  8. Plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard with prevent a "skin" from forming over your custard as it cools.
  9. Be sure to Cool custard FAST over an ice bath to avoid the Danger Zone. The way to do this, is by pouring the hot custard into a shallow dish (like a 9X13" casserole dish is perfect) and getting it straight into the refrigerator. An added precaution is to set that dish over another dish filled with ice water.This will speed the cooling process and ensure you are safe from any danger that can be caused from this type of egg rich and dairy custard not being handled properly.
Store this fresh custard tightly wrapped at all times, for up to 6 days in the refrigerator. This custard can be used in many different pastry applications however you must be sure to keep your finished product under refrigeration at all times.
With the maximum room temperature exposure being 2 hours

To use custard you may have to whisk it smooth to break up the starches.

*You may find that your custard seeps moisture after a day or so, this is normal as the starches will tend to break down. Another reason why it is good to make and use your custard right away rather than prepare too many days in advance. So although this recipe WILL be fine for up to a week, fresh is always best. You can simply spoon off the excess water that may pool at the bottom of your storage container.
Recipe by Gretchen's Bakery at