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Julie & Julia
Saved 1/18/07 to yumsugar-blog

Pastry Cream

Pastry Cream
From Baking Illustrated

2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    • Heat the half-and-half, 6 tbsp of the sugar and the salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.DSC_7978.JPG
    • Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.DSC_7979.JPG
    • Whisk in the remaining 2 tbsp sugar and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.
    • Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
    • When the half-and-half mixture reaches a full simmer, gradually whisk the simmering half-and-half into the yolk mixture to temper.
    • Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula; return to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.
    • Remove from heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.
    • Strain the pastry cream through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.
    • Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.DSC_7992.JPG
    • Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
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siren6 siren6 9 years 18 weeks
OK, now that I think about it, I might have been a little hasty on removing it from the heat as soon as I saw a couple bubbles happen. It probably needed more heat!
Food Food 9 years 18 weeks
How long did you end up heating the cream (once the eggs are added)? I was busy taking photos and let it get too cool and didn't bring it back to heat. The heat should thicken it up.
siren6 siren6 9 years 19 weeks
I tried a similar recipe last week (it was actually the basic pastry cream from the Tartine cookbook) and although I thought I did everything right, I ended up with only marginally thickened cream. It was tasty cream, but it wasn't what I imagined it'd be! Maybe my expectations of how thick the pastry cream was supposed to be are out of whack, but I thought this stuff would be thick enough to pipe into pastry shells. I can't actually remember eating pastry cream before and this was my first time making it, so was I wrong to expect a custard-like cream or did I goof?