I finally made some mille-feuille / custard slices this morning, using Jus Rol gluten free puff pastry + homemade pastry cream and a simple icing.
Along with eclairs and proper Krispy Kreme style doughnuts, this was yet another classic dessert that was missing from my gluten free life (until now). I had been wanting to make these for AGES but for some reason I always assumed it would be impossible or way too much hassle…
And well, it turns out they’re actually not that difficult to make. You have to prepare the pastry cream in advance so it’s a bit time consuming in that sense, but otherwise it’s relatively simple. Well worth a try if it’s something you miss.
P.S.: I highly recommend cutting the pastry into individual little rectangles BEFORE assembling each mille-feuille separately. People usually bake large pastry sheets, assemble a large mille-feuille, refrigerate and then slice into portions… but to be honest I found that process a bit messy and difficult with gluten free puff pastry. So don’t follow my pictures below, just make small individual ones. 😉
I changed the pastry cream recipe. I was still a bit of a newbie at it back when I posted the original recipe, but after making it so many more times since then, I’ve perfected it and it’s much much better now. 🙂
I also updated the cooking time and baking temperature for the puff pastry. Looking back, I feel like I had slightly overcooked the pastry and have since found a better way to do it. So while the pastry looks dark in the pictures below, you want to aim for something a bit more like this:
Gluten Free Mille-Feuille Recipe:
- Gluten free puff pastry (I used Jus-Rol)
- Pastry Cream
- Plain icing
- Chocolate icing
- 350g whole milk
- 3-4 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavouring)
- Pinch of salt
- 70g sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 30g cornflour (aka cornstarch - the kind you use to thicken sauces)
- 70g unsalted butter
- 180g icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp (15g) corn syrup
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
- A few Tbsp of the plain icing
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
BAKING TIME: 10 to 15 mins
STEP 1 – MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM (IN ADVANCE):
- Add the milk, vanilla and a pinch of salt into a sauce pan and bring it to a very light simmer on low/medium heat, stirring constantly.
- In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and cornflour.
- Then pour some of the warm milk into it and whisk it until well combined and lump free.
- Then pour the content back into the sauce pan and keep whisking, still on low heat, until the pastry cream thickens up. This should take about 1 minutes.
- Then pour your pastry cream into another clean bowl and run through a sieve as you do so. This will get rid of any lumps and make it smoother.
- Then stir in the butter (while the pastry cream is still hot) until it melts fully.
- Cover your bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Note: to prevent a skin from forming on top, press the cling film directly against the surface of your pastry cream. And once ready to use, give it a good stir to smoothen it beforehand.
STEP 2 – COOK THE PASTRY:
- Take your pastry out of the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature before carefully unrolling it. This helps prevent cracks which can happen if the pastry is too cold (if it does, just fix the cracks by smudging them with your fingers).
- With a rolling pin, gently roll the pastry. Although this pastry is already rolled, in my experience rolling it a little extra helps the texture (but don’t overdo it / we don’t want it to be too thin).
- Slice the pastry sheet into 3 large equal size pieces for each 3 layers. Alternatively you can slice it in several little mille-feuille size rectangles. It’s up to you.
- Poke the pastry all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising too much. Note: with ‘normal’ pastry, it’s recommended to place baking beads or another baking tray on top to prevent it from rising, but honestly this isn’t really a problem with gluten free puff pastry!
- Bake in a preheated oven (180C/356F) for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden and crispy (but not hard). Keep an eye on it and if you see any puffing up happening, just poke the pastry with a fork some more.
- Take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely before assembling your gluten free mille-feuille.
- Then carefully cut your cooked pastry into individual mille-feuille size layers with a serrated knife (if you hadn’t done so already before baking).
STEP 3 – MAKE THE ICING:
- Mix the icing sugar, salt and corn syrup together.
- Then add the milk slowly, one tsp at a time, until you reach the right consistency. Note: icing sugar absorbs liquids like crazy so it’s important to add the milk little by little.
- For the chocolate icing, just transfer a few tablespoons of the normal icing into a small bowl and add some cocoa powder.
STEP 4 – ASSEMBLE THE MILLE-FEUILLE:
Mille-Feuille are made with 3 layers of pastry: one at the bottom, a second one in between two layers of pastry cream and one at the top covered in icing.
- Let’s start with the top layer: cover each top layers with plain icing, spreading it evenly with a spatula or knife. Then add a few lines of chocolate icing (you can use a piping bag with a very small tip for this or do what I did: fold a small square of baking paper into a cone shape, add the chocolate icing and pipe it out). Then drag the lines into a V shape using the tip of a knife or a skewer (as seen in the pictures above). Clean up the sides and leave to dry.
- Cover the bottom layer in pastry cream, either by using a knife or a piping bag, place the middle pastry layer on top (pressing it gently) and add a second layer of pastry cream.
- Once the icing on the top layer has dried enough to handle, place on top of your mille-feuille.
- Then clean up the sides with a knife.
- Ideally refrigerate your mille feuille for a while before eating, to give it some time to set.