Crème Légère

Crème Légère

The traditional French pastry cream.
Servings 4
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 450 Grams(16 oz) Milk
  • 60 Grams(2.1 oz) Cornstarch
  • 120 Grams(4.2 oz) Sugar
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 60 Grams(2.1 oz) Butter (unsalted and cold)
  • 1 Vanilla Pod
  • 4.5 (9 grams/0.3 oz gelatin bloomed in cold water) Gelatin Leaves
  • 360 Grams(12.7 oz) Heavy Cream (35%) (cold)


Pastry Cream (step 1 of making creme légère):

  • Dissolve cornstarch in 1/4 cup of milk, combine rest of the milk with sugar and bring to a boil.
  • Whisk egg yolks into the cornstarch mixture.
  • Pour 1/3 of the boiling milk over the eggs, then return milk and the milk & egg mixture to heat. Boil for about 1 minute, whisking.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
  • Transfer to a cold container, press some plastic film directly on the cream and chill immediately.

Finish the cream filling (crème légère):

  • Soak gelatin leaves in cold water until softened.
  • Remove from water, squeeze well and keep handy.
  • Take 200g of cold pastry cream, place it in a microwave safe bowl and zap it until hot. Add gelatin to hot cream and whisk well until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Add the rest of the cold pastry cream (340g) and whisk well to combine.
  • Use an immersion blender if you still see lumps of undissolved gelatin).
  • Fold whipped cream into pastry cream in three doses.
  • Transfer cream to a piping bag and use immediately before it starts to set.


You can use the crème légère to fill choux pastry puffs, for a filling on an unbaked tart (where you bake just the dough but not the fruit), in the baba au rhum or with the addition of some whipped cream create a simple dessert with fruits or chocolate for example.

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