Raspberry mille-feuille with Madagascan vanilla crème pâtissière & strawberry jam

INGREDIENTS

2 packets of ready-rolled puff pastry

3-4 tbsp icing sugar

360 ml milk

3 egg yolks

70 g caster sugar

25 g plain flour

25 g cornflour

1 vanilla pod (seeds only) or 1 tsp vanilla paste

200 ml double cream

Strawberry jam

Punnet of fresh strawberries

Icing frosting

100 g icing sugar

1 tbsp water

30 g 70% dark chocolate

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.
  2. Unroll the pastry and place on baking parchment on a non-stick baking tray. Cut out 3 circles (use a small plate as a template). Dust generously with icing sugar, prick all over with a fork, and cover with a second sheet of baking parchment. Weigh down with a heavy baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 min, until golden. Remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Scald the milk (heat to just below boiling) in a saucepan.
  4. Mix together the eggs, sugar, flour and cornflour in a bowl. Slowly pour over the hot milk and whisk well.
  5. Rinse out the saucepan, then return the egg mix to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring vigorously, until the sauce thickens, then pass through a sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the vanilla, cover with greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming, and leave to cool completely.
  6. Whip the double cream to soft peaks. Beat the cold crème pât with electric beaters, then fold in the double cream. Spoon into a piping bag and chill until ready to use.
  7. When the pastry circles have cooled, hold together in your hand and gently use a grater or zester to smooth the edges and make even sized.
  8. Make the frosting by combining the icing sugar and water (for a dripping consistency). Using a palette knife, spread the icing over one of the pastry circles (the lid). You can also pipe with melted chocolate and drag across a toothpick across to create a striped effect.
  9. Assemble the mille-feuille just before serving. Add a dot of cream to the serving plate to act as ‘glue’ and put one circle of pastry on top. Spread jam over the pastry, then pipe large dots of crème pât (same height as the strawberries) around the edge. Position the strawberries (cut side out) between the dots. Place the second pastry layer on top and repeat. Finish with the icing-coated lid.

I used the beautiful Denby Pottery Halo Speckle Coupe Dinner Plate, sitting on an upturned shallow bowl to create the illusion of a cake stand. https://www.denbypottery.com/dinner-plates/plate/199012005

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