Creme Patissiere

This is the classic custard-like pastry cream which fills those cute little fruit tarts you see. This version features fresh vanilla bean which lifts it to another level. Combine it with my SHORTCRUST PASTRY and fresh fruit and you have a winning dessert.

The quantities below will give you just about 1.5 litres of creme patissiere, which will easily fill one large 28 cm tart or about twelve to fifteen small tarts.


  • 1 litre of full cream milk
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped away with the tip of a sharp knife
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 100 g cornflour
  • 150 g unsalted butter, diced

1. Combine the milk and vanilla seeds in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. In the meantime whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until they’re pale and have thickened slightly. Add the cornflour and whisk to combine.

2. When the milk has come to the simmer pour about half of it into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking to combine well. Then pour the egg/sugar/milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and cook over a medium heat, stirring and/or whisking constantly. When the mixture is thick and smooth and coats the back of a wooden spoon remove it from the heat.

3. Stir in the butter a few pieces at a time, transfer to a large jug or bowl, and leave to cool. I usually refrigerate it overnight then give it a little whisk to loosen it when I’m ready to use it.


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