Lemon Pastry Cream Recipe

Fresh lemon zest gives this lemon pastry cream recipe a sweet, invigorating vibe. If you can’t find lemon liquor to complete the recipe, use 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract as a substitute. For a traditional flavor, pair the lemon cream with fresh berries. For a classic European combination, simply glaze the filled pastry with a bittersweet chocolate frosting.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon liquor (or 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract)


In a small saucepan, warm the milk and lemon zest over low heat until it is just hot enough to steam. While the milk is warming, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, flour, and cornstarch until the mixture is completely smooth.

Once the milk is steaming, add half of it, whisking constantly, to the egg mixture. Add the milk and eggs back into the hot milk, continue stirring, and heat it for 1-2 minutes, until the custard reaches 170F on a digital thermometer and is very thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla extract and lemon liquor(or extract), and chill before filling pastry.

This lemon pastry cream recipe makes approximately 2 cups flavored cream.

Originally posted 2012-11-02 15:13:46.

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