Pastry Cream for Mille Feuille:
600g Puff pastry, cold - store bought is ok if butter based
250g crème legèreIcing sugar
- Preheat oven at 160C/320F. Roll puff pastry to a thickness of 3mm, place on a tray lined with parchment paper and bake for about an hour until crunchy and golden in color.
- Take out of the oven, raise the oven temperature to 200C/390F and while you wait for the oven to reach the new temp dust the cooked puff pastry with plenty of icing sugar.
- Bake again for about 5 minutes checking that the sugar caramelizes without burning. Remove, let cool. Cut into rectangles, chose 6 ones without any cracks, dust them with sugar on the flat side.
- Heat up a knife that you will be using as a branding tool to mark the sugared pieces. Put creme legere in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip (a star tip is a nice alternative).
- Pipe a few dollops of cream on a rectangle of puff pastry, place a second rectangle, more cream and finally the last rectangle of puff pastry that has been branded on top.
Pastry Cream for Mille Feuille:
450g whole milk (2 cups, 1lb)
50g heavy/whipping cream (about 2oz)
2 vanilla beans
4 egg yolks (should weigh 90g/3oz)
90g sugar (3oz)
25g corn starch/corn flour (about 1oz)
25g flour (about 1oz)
4 gelatin leaves or 8g of powdered gelatin dissolved in 40g of water. ( Forget ounces, here you are better off thinking in grams)
50g unsalted butter (about 2oz)
30g cocoa butter, optional (about 1oz)
---30g mascarpone cheese,optional (about 1oz)
- Sift together flour and starch, set aside. Place milk and cream in a sauce pot. Scrape vanilla beans, place seeds and scraped pods in the milk+cream pot.
- Bring to a boil, turn off, cover and let infuse for 20 minutes. Few minutes before the infusion is ready place egg yolk and sugar in a bowl, start whisking until the mixture is light in color, then gradually add flour and starch.
- Place gelatin leaves in cold water for a couple of minutes, when soft squeeze well to remove excess water and keep aside (this step is called blooming).
- Remove scraped vanilla pods from infused milk (don’t discard them, you can use them to make vanilla sugar by first washing them, then drying them well in a low temp oven and finally grinding them with sugar in a food processor).
- Pour hot milk over the eggs, sugar and flours mixture while whisking. Return mixture to the sauce pan and cook over low heat constantly whisking. When the mixture starts to boil it will also start thickening.
- Keep whisking for about two minutes, the cream will be very thick. Take the pan off the heat, add the bloomed gelatin and whisk well until completely dissolved.
- Add butter in three additions and then cocoa butter, if you have it. With an immersion blender puree the mixture until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Place the cream in a shallow dish, cover with plastic film and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes. In the refrigerator it will take almost an hour to be completely cold.
- When the cream is cold, place it in the bowl of a stand mixer (if you don’t have one a hand- held mixer will also work) and whisk at medium high speed for 5 minutes.
- Gently mix in the mascarpone cheese, if you have it. Place cream in a piping bag and keep refrigerated until ready to use. Shelf life is 2 days.