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Perfect Lemon Pastry Filling

This perfect lemon pastry filling is smooth and silky with a tangy and tart flavor that overwhelms your senses and leaves your taste buds tingling.

This post was a bit of salvage mission. Originally, we had planned on making a lemon dessert loaf.

However, we must have done something wrong because the bread refused to rise. Kim was preparing the mixture, and we both suspect the baking powder to be the culprit.

Well, instead of panicking and chucking the whole post, we decided to improvise and with a little ingenuity and quick thinking Kim, and I managed to create two posts out of one failed attempt.

Bowl of lemon pastry filling.

Some people may wonder, “Why do this? Why not just start over?” The answer to that is simple, improvising in the kitchen is an important skill to cultivate.

Especially, when you are cooking meals for your loved ones. Another reason to take this approach is that I feel people should know that even practiced cooks make mistakes and it’s not the end of the world.

Take a deep breath, think about what you have in your cabinets and make the best of it.

What started as a dessert bread became a delicious parfait that will be posted in two separate parts. The first part being the lemon pastry filling and then the bread in the coming days.

Top down view of lemon filling and fresh lemons.

It is my hope that you will not only enjoy this recipe but will also take away something more valuable. No matter how many years you have in the kitchen, life happens.

When it does, learn to think on your feet and show life that knocking you down won’t stop you. I suspect many food bloggers out there have had the same struggles but in the end prepared a delicious dish.

For those of you who are new to cooking, look for those recipe posts. Not only for the food but the message as well.

Today’s post was my first attempt at making lemon pastry filling. Is it perfect?

No, but I am proud of what I created and even more proud of Kim’s ability to accept the failed bread and still devise a delicious dish for another upcoming post.

In closing, I wish everyone long life, everlasting love, and a full stomach. This recipe was adapted from Wilton’s website and can be found here.

How to Make Lemon Pastry Filling:

To begin, go ahead and separate the egg whites from the yolks in two different bowls. There are couple ways this can be done.

I assume most people have the kitchen tool that makes this process a snap. However, since we don’t own that gadget, I prefer to crack the egg along the side of the shell to split the egg completely in half.

Then, over one bowl, I slowly pass the egg yolk back and forth between the shell halves and the white drains away from the yolk. Afterward, I pour the yolk from one-half of the egg into a separate bowl. Go ahead and beat the egg yolks.

It’s a bit more labor-intensive, but until I get the proper tool, I do what I got to do. Once you have the yolks prepared, it’s time to move on to making the lemon pastry filling.

Lemon filing in a purple bowl next to a fresh lemon.

The next step is to take a small saucepan and add the cold water, cornstarch, sugar, salt and beaten egg yolks. Begin heating the mixture over medium heat while constantly stirring the ingredients.

This process will ensure all the elements are properly blended and keep the filling from heating too quickly and scrambling the eggs. In a few minutes, the mixture will start to steam, that’s when I added the lemon zest and lemon juice. As before, constant stirring is a must for this recipe to turn out well.

Let the lemon filling come to a boil and continue boiling for approximately one minute. You’re almost done, and the last few steps are only difficult if you are impatient, like me.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter. It will melt quickly as you whisk. All that is left to do is to let it cool to room temperature and strain the filling.

Straining might not be needed if you heated everything slowly. But, if you are new to this process or just something unknown happened and the eggs scrambled you will want to strain the lemon pastry filling.

It’s nothing to fret over because straining the substance will remove any unsightly flecks of egg or over-sized zest pieces. Once cooled and strained, the lemon pastry is ready for use or can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Don’t forget to check out our Lemon Filling web story!

If you like this lemon pastry cream recipe, please leave us a comment and rate the recipe card. You can also find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram searching for Berly’s Kitchen!

Yield: About 1 Cups

Perfect Lemon Pastry Filling

Bowl of lemon pastry filling.

This perfect lemon pastry filling is smooth and silky with a tangy and tart flavor that overwhelms your senses and leaves your taste buds tingling.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 3/4 Cup of Cold Water
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks Beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Lemon Zest
  • 5 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cold water, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and egg yolks. Stir vigorously to mix the ingredients and stir occasionally as the filling cooks.
  2. After the filling begins to thicken and bubble, stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Let boil for approximately 1 minute.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Allow filling to cool to room temperature, then strain to remove any scrambled egg yolks.
  4. Can be stored in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and the total amount of 1 cup of lemon filling. Actual calories will vary.

*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1154Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 587mgSodium: 782mgCarbohydrates: 222gFiber: 1gSugar: 202gProtein: 16g

*The calories are an estimate and are based on the ingredients and serving size listed. The calories can vary depending on the brand of product purchased.

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Carol Murray

Thursday 14th of October 2021

Does this recipe make enough for a 9 inch deep dish pie shell


Friday 15th of October 2021

Good Morning Carol, to answer your question, no the recipe does not make enough pastry filling to fill a 9-inch deep dish pie shell. The recipe only makes about 1-cup of pastry filling. Thank you for asking and have a lovely day :)


Saturday 17th of October 2020

I use lemon pudding mix to make my merengue pie. I add lemon juice while it's cooling. While serving, I see the juice at the bottom. Why?


Sunday 18th of October 2020

Good Morning Elsa, that's a good question. It sounds like the meringue is, "weeping." Moisture from the meringue is being drawn out as the pie bakes and cools and the liquid is pooling in the bottom of the pie. Now, that happens sometimes and there are a few things you can try in order to correct the issue. First, only beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, not hard peaks. Second, use cream of tartar in the meringue (if you're not doing so already). Third, try using a different pie filling product. The lemon pudding mix could be causing issues. Last, you could sprinkle a little corn starch or xanthium gum between the meringue and the pie before it bakes. I hope this information helps, have a lovely weekend :)

Cindy Seibert

Wednesday 12th of December 2018

I want to know if this pastry filling is "thicker" than pie filling. I am making a Christmas cookie called a Kiffel and you must use pastry filling (Solo pastry filling). I can never find lemon by Solo, only Apricot and Cherry. Curd is too thin and I must have a "pastry" filling.


Wednesday 12th of December 2018

Good Morning Cindy, that's a good question. Unfortunately, no, my recipe is not thicker than a pie filling. However, if you decide to use it, you could incorporate some arrow root or a corn starch slurry during the cooking process. That would thicken it up nicely. I hope this information helps. Have a lovely day :)

Mary Estep

Friday 15th of September 2017

Have you tried this filling in pastries, such as turnovers, or kolaces? I'm curious if it will bubble up and run out of the pastries while they're cooking in the oven.


Saturday 16th of September 2017

That's a great question, Mary. Unfortunately, I've never tried this filling in a pastry that needs to be baked with the filling inside. My first instinct would be that the filling would probably bubble up and run out of the pastry as it cooks. This filling is better suited for injection after the pastry has been cooked. Kind of like a cream puff filling. With that being said, you could still try it if you like. If you decide to, would you mind coming back and letting us know if it worked for you? I'm really curious about what would happen. Thank you again for your question and we hope you have a lovely weekend, Mary!

Patricia zahn

Friday 25th of August 2017

This looks really good. Plan on using it as a sauce for an old fashioned hot milk bunt cake.


Saturday 26th of August 2017

Thank you, Patricia! I hope it works perfectly for you. I've never had an old fashioned hot milk bundt cake. Onward to Google to do some research. Thank you again for commenting and I hope you have a lovely weekend :)

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