I made some really easy gluten free custard slices with a super quick eggless custard/pastry cream. 🙂
Really, they’re essentially the same as mille feuille, but with only one thick layer of custard sandwiched between two sheets of puff pastry.
- Gluten free puff pastry
- 500g milk
- 100g sugar
- 60g custard powder (I used Bird's) (or cornflour)
- *Add some vanilla extract if using cornflour
- 60g butter
- 180g icing sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp (15g) honey (or syrup)
- 2-3 Tbsp milk
- Optional: food colouring
PREPARE THE PUFF PASTRY:
A) If using an UNROLLED PUFF PASTRY BLOCK (such as Genius gluten free puff pastry):
- If your puff pastry is frozen (like Genius puff pastry is), let it thaw fully before getting started. Overnight in the fridge or 2-3 hours at room temperature.
- Once ready to use, let your puff pastry sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before getting started. If you use it straight out of the fridge, it’ll crack.
- Cut the block into two portions. Working with smaller portions makes it a lot easier to roll and get an even thickness.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of all purpose gluten free flour on your work surface as well as a bit on top of your dough.
- Start rolling the dough, aiming for a square or rectangular shape as much as possible. Keep turning the dough upside down during the process, spreading the loose flour underneath each time to prevent sticking. Note: add more flour at any point if the dough becomes sticky.
- Roll the dough until it’s about half a centimetre thick.
- Trim the edges with a knife or pizza/pasta cutter.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough. Or for a smaller batch (with thicker layer of custard filling 😛 ), simply slice the rolled dough into 2 identical sized pieces, one for the top and one for the bottom.
B) If using an ALREADY ROLLED PUFF PASTRY (such as Jus Rol):
- Take your gluten free puff pastry out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before getting started. This will make the pastry easier to unroll and prevent cracking.
- Unroll it and if cracks do happen, fix them 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).
BAKE THE PUFF PASTRY:
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C (356F).
- Lightly poke your pastry all over with a fork (don’t go all the way). This is to stop it from puffing up. With ‘normal’ puff pastry, it’s recommended to place another baking tray or baking beads on top to prevent it from rising, but this isn’t exactly a problem with gluten free puff pastry! 😉
- Transfer your pastry onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Until your pastry is 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.
MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM / CUSTARD:
- Whisk the sugar and custard powder (or cornflour) together in a bowl.
- Pour the milk in a saucepan along with any flavourings you want to add (for example, the vanilla if you aren’t using an already flavoured custard powder like I did).
- Heat up the milk on low heat until you reach a very light simmer.
- Then pour some of the warm milk into your cornflour and sugar bowl and mix well. Just enough to turn it into a nice runny smooth paste.
- Transfer it back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and whisk the mixture continuously until it thickens up. It should happen fairly quickly.
- Finally, add the butter (while the mixture is still warm) and whisk until it’s fully melted.
ASSEMBLE YOUR CUSTARD SLICES:
OPTION 1 – Sandwich the freshly cooked pastry cream between the two layers of puff pastry and slice later.
- Carefully cut your baked puff pastry in half (in two identical halves) with a serrated knife. One for the bottom and one for the top.
- Line a baking dish with foil and place the bottom pastry sheet on there. Ideally the dish should be the same dimension as your pastry sheet (or close). The idea is to contain the custard within the dimension of pastry while it rests and sets in the fridge. But if not, it’s ok, you can achieve this with the foil by folding them straight up along the sides of the bottom pastry.
- Then pour the freshly cooked custard on top and spread evenly.
- To make the slicing process easier at the end, cut the top pastry layer into individual rectangles in advance (whatever size you’d like your custard slices to be).
- Then place them on top of the pastry cream.
- Wrap it up with the foil or some cling film.
OPTION 2: cut the pastry into individual pieces and pipe the custard.
- Pour your freshly cooked custard into a container or bowl and cover with cling film. To prevent a film from forming on top, press the cling film onto the pastry cream.
- Then place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to allow it to thicken up.
- Meanwhile, carefully cut your baked puff pastry into small rectangles, all the exact same size.
- Once the custard is ready, give it a good stir to make it creamy again.
- Transfer the custard into a piping bag with nozzle of your choice.
- Pipe little dollops all over the bottom pastry pieces.
- Add the top layer and press gently to secure it.
- Wrap them up with cling film or foil.
- Refrigerate your gluten free custard slices for a couple of hours or overnight to give it time to set.
MAKE THE ICING:
- Mix the icing sugar, salt and honey together.
- Then add the milk slowly, half a teaspoon at a time, until you reach the right consistency. It should be a bit runny, but still quite thick. Note: icing sugar absorbs liquids like crazy so it’s important to add the milk little by little.
- For the colourful icing, just transfer a few tablespoons of the normal icing into a small bowl and add some food colouring.
SLICE AND DECORATE:
- Carefully slice them (only for option 1).
- Then clean up the edges (only for option 1).
- For the icing, cover each top layer with plain icing, spreading it evenly with a spatula or knife.
- Then add two lines of colourful icing along each custard slice (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 colourful icing into it 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. Note: the pictures above are not actually from this recipe, but you get the gist. 😉