Cranberry Mille Feuilles
- serves 4
"Mille Feuilles" means "a thousand sheets", and this dessert's many flaky layers are filled with a creamy custard and fragrant cranberry filling. Irresistible!
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp brandy (optional)
2 Tbsp whipping creamCranberries
2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
6 Tbsp water
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
½ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp brandy or rumPuff Pastry
1 pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed
icing sugar, for dustingTo Assemble
1. For pastry cream, bring milk and vanilla extract to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisking egg mixture constantly, gradually add milk, a ladle at a time, to the egg mixture until all the milk has been added. Pour mixture back in pot and return to medium heat. Whisking vigorously, bring mixture up to a simmer. Due to the cornstarch, pastry cream will thicken quickly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and, still whisking, stir in butter (this will help halt the cooking process). Stir in brandy, cover surface of pastry cream with plastic wrap and chill completely. Whip cream to medium peak and fold in. Chill until ready to assemble
2. For cranberries, simmer cranberries with water, sugar, scraped seeds and pod of vanilla bean and cinnamon, stirring occasionally, until most cranberries have "popped", about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in brandy and remove vanilla bean. Cover cranberries directly on surface with plastic wrap and chill until ready to assemble.
3. For puff pastry, preheat oven to 375° F. Cut puff pastry into three equal pieces and keep two chilled while rolling first. On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a square about 8 inches. Trim edges with a ruler to create straight lines (or use bottom of a cake pan). Place on a parchment-line baking sheet. Repeat with remaining 2 pieces (you should be able to fit 2 squares on 1 baking sheet). Chill for 10 minutes. Dock pastry with a fork and place a sheet of parchment over rolled dough. Place another baking sheet on top of pastry and press down gently. Bake for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, remove top baking tray and parchment and bake for 10 to 12 minutes more, until puff pastry is an even golden brown colour. Allow to cool.
4. To assemble place one pastry square on a platter. Fill a piping bag with a large plain or star tip and fill with pastry cream. Pipe cream over pastry square, covering completely, but without going right to the edges (the weight of remaining layers will fill out cream). Lay second puff square over pastry cream. Gently spread cranberry filling over square. Top with last layer of pastry. Dust top of mille feuilles with icing sugar.
5. Yield: 1 8-inch square mille feuilles. Makes 4 to 6 servings.