Pastry Cream for Paris-Brest

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Use this recipe to make our Paris-Brest pastry.


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped

  • Pinch of salt

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean and seeds, and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about 1/2 cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Continue adding milk mixture 1/2 cup at a time, until it has been incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens and registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean.

  3. Add the butter, and mix until the butter melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes. Place pot in an ice-water bath until mixture is cooled.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed until smooth (you can also whisk by hand).

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