New This Month

Lemon-Thyme Pastry Cream

Equal parts sweet, tart, and herbaceous, we love this pastry cream as a filling between delicate layers of our Lemon-Thyme Tower Cake.

  • Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999


  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, thyme, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 15 minutes.

  2. Prepare an ice bath. In a medium bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to egg mixture; whisk until well combined.

  3. Strain the warm milk mixture; discard solids. Return milk to saucepan; bring to a boil. Slowly pour into egg-cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly.

  4. Transfer new mixture to saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and transfer mixture to a large heat-proof bowl.

  5. Whisk in butter; set bowl in ice bath, stirring occasionally, until chilled. Lay plastic directly on surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming; chill until ready to use.


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