Vanilla Slice

I’m turning 40 this year.  I really want to celebrate it rather than cower away from it.  Being unemployed has allowed me to have the time to rediscover myself and I like me.  I am fun and always up for a crazy adventure.  I have had a great 39 years and want to celebrate this milestone and ring in 40 more.  I decided to celebrate by having 40 birthday celebrations this year.  I work hard, play hard, and have a great group of friends who will celebrate with me.  So what better way to remind myself than to start Australia off with a dessert.

Vanilla Slice is popular in Australia and is considered one of their prideful dishes.  They have Vanilla Slice competitions, just like Americans have pie competitions.  Vanilla Slice is a layered custard pastry.  It actually has its origins in France and there it is referred to as Mille-fuelle.

First take some puff pastry and roll it out with powdered sugar to fit the pan.

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Bake the puff pastry

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Custard is one of my favorite deserts growing up, so I have made it a ton of times and it’s fairly simple.  Add vanilla bean, milk, and cream and steep the vanilla in the cream for 10 minutes.  Then add sugar, cornflower, custard powder, and butter.  Constantly stir for 3 minutes.  Then remove from heat and stir in the eggs. And voila! You have the custard filling.

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Spread the custard on the puff pastry.

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Place a second puff pastry over the custard. And chill overnight.

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The icing is pretty simple.  Combine powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth.  Spread on top of the puff pastry.

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Now it is ready to be eaten.

 

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Okay so it comes out a bit crumbly and not as pretty as the pictures.  Oh well it is still edible.  I usually use Dufour puff pastry, but used a different brand of puff pastry and I think it makes a difference as it isn’t as buttery.  The custard is yummy, but the icing is a bit too sweet for me.  I still sing Happy Birthday too me in my head as I eat it.

 


Recipes

Vanilla Slice

Original recipe can be found here

  • 2 sheets ready rolled butter puff pastry, defrosted (suggest Dufour brand)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cornflour
  • ½ cup custard powder
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1½ cups cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 Vanilla bean
  • 1½ cups powder sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons warm milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.  Line two oven trays with baking paper.  Line the base and sides of a 23cm square cake tin with foil.
  2. Place each sheet of pastry on a separate tray and bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until well-cooked and golden brown.  When cool, press down on the sheets to flatten gently.  Using a serrated knife trim to a 23cm square and leave to cool completely.
  3. In a large saucepan, stir together the vanilla bean scrapings, milk and cream.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add sugar,  cornflour,  custard powder, and butter over a moderate heat until the custard boils. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the egg yolks.
  5. Place one piece of pastry into the base of the tin, flattened side uppermost. Pour the hot custard over the pastry in the cake tin and press the remaining pastry sheet on top of the custard firmly. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until set.
  6. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix to make a smooth, spreadable icing.
  7. Spread the icing over the pastry and cut into squares to serve.
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