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Perfect Lemon Pastry Filling

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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!

Bowl of lemon pastry filling.

Perfect Lemon Pastry Filling

Yield: About 1 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

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.


  • 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:
Yield: 1 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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