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Orange-Rum Pastry Cream

Golden rum adds a mellow sweetness to this rich cream. If you can't find it, use brandy or Cognac instead. This is the filling for the Pastry Wreath with Orange-Rum Cream.

  • prep: 10 mins
    total time: 2 hours 10 mins
  • yield: Makes 2 cups
Photography: Jonny Valiant




  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, split and scraped, pod reserved
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons golden rum
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

Cook's Note

Pastry cream can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 3 days.


  1. Step 1

    Heat milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla seeds and pod in a small saucepan over high heat until steaming (do not simmer). Immediately remove from heat. Discard vanilla pod.

  2. Step 2

    Whisk egg yolks with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl until thick. Sprinkle in flour and cornstarch, and whisk until combined.

  3. Step 3

    Whisk half the hot milk mixture into yolk mixture. Return entire mixture to saucepan with remaining milk mixture, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly and quickly to prevent scorching. Cook, continuing to whisk, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain pastry cream through a fine sieve into a bowl.

  4. Step 4

    Add butter and stir until melted. Stir in rum and orange zest. Press plastic wrap or waxed paper directly onto surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2011