Custard Slices

Nicolette van Niekerk
The Vanilla or Vanilla Custard slice, is actually originally from France, however it is still seen as a traditional British baked delicacy and a very popular teatime treat. French Patisseries sells them as Mille- Feuille meaning “a thousand leaves”. It is traditionally made with Rough Puff Pastry, layered and filled with Crème Patissiere (pastry cream), which is a smooth, thick and sweet custard. Make three layers of pastry and fill it with two layers of custard. Dusted powdered (icing) sugar coats the top layer, but can usually be bought with a layer of glazed icing marbled with dark chocolate. Custard Slices Although it sounds complicated, it really isn’t. Bake the puff pastry thoroughly, break each layer into two pieces so that they are thin, and stack three of them with the custard piped in between. Dust with icing sugar. Preparation time: 20 minutes + 15 resting time Baking time: 15 – 20 minutes at 220°C Servings: 8 portions Ingredients: 1 Roll Store bought Puff Pastry   6 Egg yolks 125g Castor Sugar 30g Corn flour 10g Plain Flour 550ml Milk 15ml Vanilla Essence /1 Vanilla pod 15g butter   Method: To make the pastry layers:
  1. Lightly butter two large baking sheets and sprinkle them with a little bit of cold water. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 1cm.
  2. Cut from the pastry, rectangular shapes of about 15cm in length. Lift the pieces gently onto the baking sheets and prick each a few times with a fork.
  3. Chill for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  4. Bake the pastry for 15-20 minutes until golden brown, then transfer to wire racks to cool.
Mille-Feuille To make the Crème Patissiere:
  1. Whisk together the egg yolks and half of the sugar until pale and creamy. Sift in the corn flour and flour and mix well.
  2. Put the milk, remaining sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring it just to the boil and then restrain over the egg yolk mixture stirring continuously.
  3. Pour the mixture back into a clean saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously –it will be lumpy at first but will become smooth as you stir.
  4. Boil for 2 minutes then stir in the butter and leave to cool.
  5. Transfer to a clean bowl, lay clingfilm on the surface to prevent a skin forming, and refrigerate. It can be stored refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Mille-Feuille To assemble:
  1. Carefully split the pastry pieces in half.
  2. Spread or pipe dollops of the pastry cream on each layer. Create three layers of pastry and two layers of pastry cream in between.
  3. Dust with icing sugar.
* Raspberries / strawberries can be arranged within each layer as an alternative and to add some colour.