My Mille Feuille Experiment (and Recipe)

Our French dessert for this weekend was mille feuille. Mille feuille is a French version of vanilla slice, made with layers of pastry and crème pâtissière. It was one of our regular favourites in France.

My search for a recipe turned up all sorts of sweet and savoury treats involving layers of pastry. I couldn’t find a recipe that resembled the mille feuille I remembered from France, so I cobbled one together, with tasty results.

Assembling mille feuille

The Recipe

Ingredients

The Pastry

  1. Cut the whole sheet of pastry in half so there are three equal rectangles.
  2. Put the pastry sheets on a baking tray covered in baking paper.
  3. Bake at 200°C until they are brown.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
I have never used puff pastry before, so I followed the cooking directions on the back of the packet.

I had read that pricking the pastry all over with a fork prevented it from rising too much. I tried this, but my pastry sheets puffed up like balloons. Not a problem, I just squashed them flat once they were cool.

The Crème Pâtissière

  1. Mix the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour. I use the whisk attachment on my stick mixer for this.
  2. Heat the milk in saucepan until it is just boiling.
  3. With the whisk on, slowly add the hot milk and vanilla to the egg mixture until it is all mixed in.
  4. Put the mixture back in the saucepan. Heat it, stiring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Continue to stir it over the heat until it seems to have stopped thickening. This can take a minute or two.
  5. Remove it from the heat, and leave it to cool.
If you are not familiar with crème pâtissière, or pastry cream, it is basically custard. I made crème pâtissière a couple of weeks ago for profiteroles, and it remained quite liquid. The crème pâtissière for mille feuille needs to be thick so it doesn't all ooze out. I thought a recipe with more flour would make a thicker crème pâtissière, and it seemed to work. But I also cooked this version for longer, so perhaps that made a difference too.

Assembling the Mille Feuille

  1. Put one sheet of pastry on a tray.
  2. Spread the pastry with half of the crème pâtissière.
  3. Top with the second sheet of pastry, and spread with the remaining crème pâtissière.
  4. Top with the final sheet of pastry.
  5. Dust with icing sugar, or ice with plain icing.
  6. Cut into four pieces and enjoy.

Thanks

Thank you to Sarah Cooks and Joy of Baking for getting me started with my mille feuille recipe.