This week’s recipe for the Modern Baker Challenge is raspberry mille feuille, a light, creamy, custardy dessert.
Mille feuille (pronounced “meel fwee”) is French for “thousand leaves”, a reference to the many-layered puff pastry that forms the base of this dessert. Like the Napoleons that I made recently, the mille feuille is made with a baked pastry layer. In this case, the filling is a vanilla custard layered with raspberries and whipped cream.
In previous posts, I’ve mentioned my love for King Arthur’s pastry cream mix and noted that I generally use it whenever a recipe calls for pastry cream. This time, however, I decided to follow Nick’s recipe and make my own pastry cream. The recipe called for milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla. It came together quickly and made a delicious pastry cream.
I covered the pastry cream and refrigerated it overnight. The next day, I baked and cooled a pastry layer, whipped some cream, and set about assembling the dessert.
For the baked layers, I cut the puffed pastry into three circles. The recipe called for 9-inch disks, but I made mine smaller, as I was scaling the recipe down.
With my pastry circles, homemade whipped cream, raspberries, and pastry cream at the ready, assembling the mille feuille was a breeze.
I began by putting a dollop of pastry cream on a plate.
I covered the cream with a pastry disk.
Since I would be serving the mille feuille on the same plate, I slid pieces of waxed paper under the disk to keep the plate clean. I covered the pastry layer with pastry cream,…
…then spread whipped cream over the berries.
I repeated the layering and finished with the third baked pastry disk.
Then I compressed the mille feuille, smoothed the filling around the edges, and pressed crushed pieces of pastry dough around the outside.
When I was ready to serve the mille feuille, I topped it with a bit of whipped cream and some raspberries.
The scaled down version, for which I used half recipes each of the pastry cream and whipped cream, yielded six generous servings.
We really enjoyed this dessert. My father-in-law, who happened to drop by while I was putting it together, raved about it. It was easy to assemble, and the results were both visually stunning and delicious.
This was another over-the-top dessert from The Modern Baker that can make any home cook look like a professional pastry chef. If you don’t have this book on your cookbook shelf, you’re really missing out.