Indulge in Vanilla Custard Cream Squares: A heavenly dessert featuring layers of crispy puff pastry and luscious vanilla custard, topped with whipped cream. A delightful treat for your taste buds.
Although enjoying this dessert might be a bit of a challenge without creating a mess, it easily competes with the most indulgent layer cakes available. The delightful contrast of crispy puff pastry layers and refreshing vanilla custard is well worth the minor cleanup it may entail. It truly embodies the complete dessert experience: light, creamy, just the right amount of sweetness, all enclosed within the satisfying snap of puff pastry. And a generous dusting of powdered sugar only enhances the experience.
This dessert draws inspiration from the beloved Central and Eastern European pastry known by various names such as ‘kremsnite’ or ‘cremeschnitte,’ all essentially meaning ‘cream slice.’ We are confident that they all offer a delightful taste experience. Our rendition is nearly no-bake, featuring a quick vanilla custard crowned with a fluffy layer of whipped cream.
What sets these slices apart is the puff pastry component. Two sheets of puff pastry are baked for a mere ten minutes and left to cool while you prepare the fillings. One sheet forms the base of the dessert, layered with the vanilla custard and whipped cream. The other sheet is cut into squares, which makes serving a breeze. A final touch of powdered sugar is sprinkled over the top before it’s placed in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. For such an elegant pastry, it’s surprisingly straightforward!
See also: Soft Custard Rolls
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
For the filling:
4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
8 eggs, separated
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place each sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until they turn a beautiful golden brown. Set them aside to cool.
In a saucepan, heat three cups of milk over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Incorporate the flour, vanilla, and the remaining cup of milk.
Once the milk has reached a boil, gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the boiling milk, continuously stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat.
In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Slowly fold these whipped egg whites into the custard mixture.
Place one of the puff pastry sheets at the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, ensuring it covers the base evenly. Spread the custard over it and refrigerate until it cools and becomes firm, which typically takes 1-2 hours.
Once the custard has chilled, whip the heavy cream and add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar using an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Spread this whipped cream evenly on top of the custard.
Cut the second puff pastry sheet into 15 squares and place them on top of the whipped cream. Return the dessert to the refrigerator to chill for an additional 2 hours.
Just before serving, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Enjoy!
See also: Portuguese Custard Tarts