Vanilla Millefeuille

Homemade millefeuille – once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why you’d never tried it before.

I have to say that millefeuille is usually one of those desserts that I just order in a restaurant. I’m not sure why I’d never attempted to make it myself! I guess it’s not all that often that I make my own puff pastry, and as I’d made and froze a big batch for a galette des rois that I prepared in January, I realised that it was the perfect opportunity to try!

I absolutely, 100%, can only recommend making this with homemade puff pastry. Yes it’s long, yes you need time, but just plan ahead and make a big batch so that you have a few supplies for other desserts (or even savoury dishes) and it will totally make it all the more worth it! Plus, puff pastry freezes really well.

I like to add a little rum to my crème pâtissière as I just love that vanilla and rum flavour combo, but this addition is totally optional and it tastes just as fabulous without. I would recommend making the crème pâtissière a day ahead if you want to save time as you do need to allow time for it to cool in the fridge before you can pipe. Also do allow time for that vanilla pod to infuse in the milk – the longer you leave it, the better and more intense the vanilla flavour will be. I always leave the vanilla to infuse in the milk overnight!

Another great thing about millefeuille: once it’s made you can just pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve, which makes it a great make-ahead dessert – although I do advise devouring it on the same day!

Recipe is below, hope you enjoy!

RECIPE (serves 6):

INGREDIENTS:
 
Puff pastry:
500g puff pastry – homemade by following this recipe (plan ahead)
or store-bought if you’re out of time (but not recommended!)

Vanilla crème pâtissière:
1/2 litre of milk
100g sugar
5 egg yolks
60g cornstarch
1 vanilla pod
1 tbsp dark rum (optional)
50g butter, cut into cubes

 
METHOD:

Puff pastry:
1. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the pastry out to a 40cm x 30cm rectangle. Place the pastry on a tray covered with baking paper, and place another sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry then refrigerate for 2 hours to relax the dough.
2. After the two hours, preheat the oven to 160C. Remove the pastry from the fridge and cut off any irregular sides to have a neat triangle, then using a fork, poke holes all over the dough.
3. Place the dough on a baking tray, recover with baking paper and then place a grill rack on top so that the pastry doesn’t puff up too much.
4. Bake for 20 mins, then remove from oven to have a look at progress. It should be lightly browned. Press the grill rack back on top and then bake for a further 20 mins.
5. Remove from the oven, remove the grill and allow the pastry to cool

Vanilla crème pâtissière:
1. Pour the milk into a saucepan and scrape the vanilla grains inside, along with the whole pod. Bring to a boil on low heat to allow the vanilla to infuse and then cover and leave to infuse in the pot (off heat) for at least two hours but I would recommend overnight if you can.
2. Pour the egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and whisk energetically until fluffy.
3. Gently and progressively fold in the cornstarch.
4. Reheat the milk that has been infusing for a while, once it’s reached simmering point, pour half the milk on top of the yolk/sugar/cornstarch mixture and mix well until fully combined.
5. Pour this mixture into the saucepan with the other half of the milk, add the rum (optional), and heat the cream on low heat, mixing constantly and energetically.
6. Once you start feeling resistance at the bottom of the pan and the mixture starts to thicken, immediately remove from heat and continue stirring until you have a nice thick cream. If you find the cream too runny (it should have a thick custard-like consistency), then put it back on low heat and keep stirring for a few minutes until it thickens up more.
7. Stir in the the butter until it melts, then pour the cream into a bowl. Cover the cream with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the cream and leave to cool to room temp before placing in the fridge to cool completely.

Assembly:

1. Cut off any irregular sides to the baked pastry and then cut the pastry into three equally-sized rectangles – using a ruler would make this easier.
2. Take out the cooled crème pâtissière from the fridge, and use an electric whisk to soften it up before pouring it into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle of your choice.
3. Place one rectangle on to a serving dish and then pipe the first layer of cream on top. Don’t go too close to the edges.
4. Place the second rectangle on top and repeat the same operation. You should finish with the third rectangle and piped cream on top to finish off.
5. Your millefeuille is ready! Leave in fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Did you try out this recipe? Any questions? Any feedback? Would love to hear from you!

Keep up with my latest Instagram posts by following @dessertsbyine!

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