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Lemon Pastry Cream

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  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups heavy cream, plus 1/2 cup more, if needed
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar


  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Whisk to blend well. Set aside.
  2. Combine 2 cups of the heavy cream, the lemon juice, and sugar in a large nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to dissolve the sugar and bring to gentle boil. Slowly add the egg mixture, whisking constantly as it thickens, about 5 minutes. Be forewarned, the mixture will break. Don’t be alarmed.
  3. Pour it into a glass bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely to room temperature.
  4. When cooled, pour the mixture into a medium-size mixing bowl. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whip, beat at medium speed to recombine. If it doesn't, warm another 1/2 cup of heavy cream and slowly add it to the mixture. Whip until you have a thick and creamy custard.