This blog post is so fun for me. You know I spend alot of time recreating my favorite dishes, dishes that my mom made.....pretty good, but I make better, and things I eat out that I want to make at home and some things, are just my husbands middle of the night brainchildren. THIS recipe though, if it turned out was going to make someone very happy! Let me explain....
There is a new officer at my husbands job, who my husband thinks it a really great guy. He is from Australia and has lived in the states for a few years. Of course my husband was telling him how madly in love I am with Pavlova and he mentioned his favorite dessert was "Vanilla Slice" and how I should try to make it. He also said it was like this iconic Australian dessert and I was devastated! What about my heavenly PAVLOVA?!!? Anyway, he said he hadn't had it for years and being the kind, loving, generous woman I am (shut up, I AM) I took that on as a challenge.
I was presented with a few obstacles with this however. When I looked up the recipe, it seemed rather easy except for this whole "thickened cream" issue. I know about thickened cream because of a YouTube channel I watch (holla, David) and he is from Australia. I did a little research and watched back an old video or 2 and felt it was ok to go with just heavy cream since I can not purchase thickened cream here. Also I could not find custard powder, BUT, by way of my faithful foodie readers, I learned I could make it myself. Thank God for them, because I obviously forgot how to use Google! Thanks guys, really! So I had to tweak this recipe a bit, I also put the ingredients into American terms, even though you could likely figure it out, some might not and I just wanted it to be clear. This is one recipe I would measure everything out first and have it ready to go. This custard moves so fast you won't have time to stop whisking so measure it all out and get your head in the game!
This will come out with a beautiful top and bottom "crust" and a thick, firm custard center. This isn't an overly sweet dessert, however, it is pure vanilla perfection!
Without further adieu let's get on with this Australian classic! Glad you liked it Steve and I appreciate the feedback!! (I adjusted the recipe to reflect it)
Here is what you will need for your Vanilla Slice:
1 box of puff pastry (there should be 2 sheets in one box, you need 2 sheets
1 cup milk
1 vanilla bean (optional) if you don't use a vanilla bean you will need 1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup + 2 HEAPING tbsps cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups HEAVY cream
3 1/2 tbsp butter
3 egg yolks
powdered sugar for dusting
Thaw your puff pastry in the refrigerator. When it is thawed, unfold each and put on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 410 F for 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
In a small saucepan slowly heat up your milk, if you are using a vanilla bean split it in half and add it in while the milk is cold, so it warms up together and infuses vanilla into the milk. Do not do this on high, heat it up slowly for the most flavor and the least chance of scalding or burning! When it is done set it aside to cool for 10 minutes. (NOTE: if you are using vanilla extract do NOT add it to the milk, you will add it later)
In a medium pot combine, cornstarch, sugar, and the milk you heated. If you used a vanilla bean strain it first. Add in heavy cream and bring back up to a boil, whisking constantly. Did you hear that? CONSTANTLY. This puppy will go from nothing to fried in a New York minute! When it is thickened, add in egg yolks one at a time whisking like a banchee! Then add in butter and vanilla.
Place a strip of parchment or foil into the bottom of a square backing dish, a 9x9 square baking dish. You want it long so you can life the slice out when it is done for cutting and serving. Place one of your puff pastry sheets firmly into the bottom. You will likely need to trim it, but you want it to fit perfectly down into the bottom of the dish. Add your custard mixture on top and smooth out evenly.
Then trim the second puff pastry sheet and place firmly on top. Give it a little push down. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight!
Dust heavily with powdered sugar before serving!
This is so light and refreshing! You will love it! Make sure to let it sit overnight, that is important!!! Plan ahead!
Your "channeling her inner Aussie"chefwannabe