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30 Minutes
2.5 Cups
30 Minutes
2.5 Cups

Crème Pâtissière

Course – Dessert
Cuisine – French
Keyword – Crème Pâtissière
Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cook Time – 30 minutes
Serving – 2.5 Cups
Skill level – Easy

Author – Julia Child – Mastering The Art of French Cooking, 1961 Let’s Make Crème Pâtissière, AKA Pastry Cream!

When I think of desserts that spark joy, I always automatically think of dishes with a Custard in it, so naturally today’s recipe will be a breakdown on the simple and elegant Crème Pâtissière, or better known in the United States as Pastry Cream! This custard is similar but different to Crème Anglaise because of the addition of cooking All-Purpose Flour into the custard base, which thickens it up! This makes it perfect for fruit tarts or even things like Eclairs (or simply eating with the largest spoon you can find.)

Let’s get into it!

Questions About Crème Pâtissière

What kind of flour can I use to make Crème Pâtissière?

  • Generally, you want to use an All-Purpose flour, since it’s most commonly found in most stores and pantries. Just avoid using a self-rising flour, since you don’t want leavening agents.

Can I substitute a different flours for this Crème Pâtissière recipe?

  • Absolutely! You should be able to yield very similar results with a bread flour or even with a gluten-free flour, if you’re trying to make this safe for people with a gluten intolerance. The addition of perhaps a teaspoon of cornstarch can help, if the custard doesn’t thicken up enough.

Which flavors can I add to Crème Pâtissière?

  • Traditionally, you’ll find most recipes calling for simple Vanilla extract or vanilla beans, but never let that stop you from making an amazing almond or even Chocolate Crème Pâtissière!


  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 5 Egg Yolks
  • .5 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups Hot Milk
  • .5 Cups Whole Milk
  • 1 T butter, cold
  • 1.5 T Vanilla extract (or other flavor)


Begin by separating your eggs, reserving the yolks for this recipe.

Whisk together your egg yolks with the sugar by hand or using an electric mixer until you’ve reached the Ribbon Stage (about 3-4 minutes). The batter will be a silky pale yellow color.

Beat in your flour until fully incorporated and then, gradually, add the hot milk a little a time, so you don’t cook the egg yolks.

Fully blend together with a whisk and then transfer to a pot or pan over medium heat.

Continuously whisk until the custard base begins to thicken and wait until you see bubbles forming, indicating a boil. Then reduce the temperature to low and whisk for an additional 2-3 minutes to cook the raw flour taste out of the custard.

Remove from the heat and then add in your cold butter and flavoring, whisking until fully incorporated. If you are not using immediately, dot the surface with softened butter, which will melt and protect your custard from drying out.

You can now transfer this to a piping bag or other container and allow to cool in a refrigerator for an hour or until completely cool. The Crème Pâtissière will now be fully set, thick and ready to be used on your favorite fruit tarts or piped into your Eclairs using our Pate a Choux recipe!

You can even upgrade this recipe with the addition of whipped egg whites to make Crème Saint-Honoré, a lighter version of Crème Pâtissière that is perfect for Cream Puffs (or simply eating with the largest spoon you can find.)


  • You can prepare your Crème Pâtissière and it will hold for at least 7 days in a refrigerator or can be frozen for later use.
  • This is can be frozen.
  • You can make this with mashed fruits as well.

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