Monday, September 7, 2009

Mille-Feuille

Mille-Feuille translated to English means “a thousand layers”. It refers to the many layers butter used in the puff pastry. A Mille-Feuille also goes by the name ‘Napoleon’, or in my language ‘Tompoes’. This is one of my favorite kinds of pastries out there. I’ve had some amazing mille-feuilles in my life. Of course the best ones are found in Paris. This is the second mille-feuille I’ve made since I started this blog. The first one was a Chocolate Napoleon. This one was much easier to make. Why? Because I used store-bought puff pastry instead of making my own. Also I prefer vanilla pastry cream to chocolate pastry cream with mille-feuilles. I really liked them, although mine were not flawless. My puff pastry ‘puffed’ up too much so I made a 2 layer mille-feuille instead of the normal 3 layers. Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mille-Feuille recipe: Dorie Greenspan - Paris Sweets

Ingredients: I should have halved this recipe, it made way too much (about 3 cups).
- 2 ½ cups whole milk (I used 1 ½ cups whole, and 1 cup semi-skimmed)
- 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (I used ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract)
- 8 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- 6 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
- 5 tablespoons (2 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 14 ounces (400 grams) puff pastry
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Puff Pastry:
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to line a rimmed baking sheet that is about 18 × 12 inches. Lightly moisten the parchment with a wet pastry brush.
- Working on a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a rectangle of 10 inches wide by 14 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. Roll the dough up around your rolling pin, then unroll it onto the parchment-covered baking sheet. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and chill it for 1 to 2 hours, the time needed to allow the gluten to relax so the pastry will rise evenly and maintain its size and shape. (I cut the puff pastry in rectangle little pieces, but that’s not necessary)
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Or, if you are using store-bought puff pastry, follow the temperature instructions on the package. (I preheated mine at 440 at baked it for 15 minutes)
- Remove the baking sheet from refrigerator, lift off and discard the plastic wrap, and slide the baking sheet into the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 375°F. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and deeply golden. Cool for at least 1 hour.

Pastry Cream:
- Bring the milk and vanilla beans to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn off the heat and infuse for at least 10 minutes.
- Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and set aside a small bowl that can hold the finished cream and be placed in this ice bath. Set aside a fine-mesh strainer too.
- Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Whisking all the while, drizzle a quarter of the hot milk into the yolks. Still whisking, pour the rest of the liquid over the yolks.
- Place saucepan over high heat, and whisking vigorously and without stop, bring the mixture to the boil. Keep the mixture at the boil, until it begins to thicken, then remove the pan from the heat and press the cream through the sieve into the reserved small bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath and, stirring frequently so that the mixture becomes smooth, cool the cream for at least 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the ice bath and stir in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Cool completely.


I used a ruler to slice the puff pastry. Yes, I'm that precise (embarrassingly so).


But it paid off! Look at these perfect rectangles!


Baked.


The first layer.


And ta da!!!


My lovely mille-feuille. God, I love them!

7 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

wow perfect! looks so good and those layers oh drooling..

catalinakolker said...

Congratulations! Could I have one for dessert ?

rafaela perazzolo said...

I love mil folhas!
:D
looks wonderfull!
cheers!!

ABowlOfMush said...

Wow I want this now!

Anh said...

Your pastry looks so good!

Eliana said...

Puff pastry is such an incredible product! This treat looks divine.

thereddeer said...

mmmm they look great - I could go some pastry cream right now!