Mille feuilles is a French dessert meaning a thousand leaves, referring to the decadent layering of puff pastry and cream in the dessert. This rustic version opts for a layer of whipped cream topped with a puff pastry crunch that is tossed with sugar. Not as tidy looking as the traditional icing, but oh so good!
2 sheets puff pastry
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/3 tsp vanilla sugar
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 package gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
2 1/3 cups whipping cream
1 cup icing sugar
Prepare the custard filling first as it needs time to cool and set. Combine the milk and vanilla sugar in a saucepan and heat through. In a mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks and the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Once they reach a light yellow colour, slowly add the warmed milk into the mixture. Return the egg mixture to the stove and simmer to 185°F. Stir continuously until it forms a creamy consistency and a “rose” will appear on a wooden spoon when air is blown onto it.
Melt the gelatin in the cold water and add it to the custard. Chill in the refrigerator until the mixture gels slightly and the custard cools completely. In the meantime, beat 1 1/3 cups of the whipping cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold it into the cooled custard and refrigerate until you are ready to layer the dessert.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll out the puff pastry onto two silicone lined baking sheets. Cut the pastry in half (you will have four pieces). Bake the puff pastry for approximately 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Traditional puff pastry for a mille feuilles requires it to be weighted down, but in this version, you want to have an “aerier” layer.
Once the puff pastry layers are cool, you can start layering. Add 1/2 of the custard onto the first layer, followed by a second sheet of puff pastry. Add the remaining custard onto the second layer and top with a third layer of puff pastry. Using your hands, gently press down on the puff pastry to make the layers slightly flatter.
Beat the remaining cup of whipping cream with half the icing sugar and add to the top layer. Crumble the fourth piece of puff pastry and mix with the remaining icing sugar (you may need to cook the inside of the puff pastry again as the outer part will crumble only). Sprinkle on top of the whipped cream layer. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes one 9” x 4” dessert .