Okay so for a while now I’ve been posting a lot of “healthy” recipes, which I know you guys don’t like too much of. This is Confessions of a “Glutton” after all, and it’s no secret that I love my sweets.
I had bought a six pack of passionfruit at the discount price of $2 a week or two ago, and looking at them shrivel in my ice box was too depressing. One of the girls at the gym was talking the other day about how much she loves custard, and so with a spark of inspiration, I decided to make Passionfruit Vanilla Slice.
I’ve always had a rather revolting obsession with custard my whole life. When I was younger, I loved anything with custard; custard buns, custard tarts, profiteroles, and I can actually eat just straight custard from the bottle. While I’ve made custard a number of times for various recipes on here, I generally find that it requires too many egg yolks and after seeing the amount of thickened cream that goes into it, I can’t eat it with the same enthusiasm as I always have.
I looked through some recipes and found one on Gourmet Traveller that interestingly enough didn’t require cream, but simply milk and a mere two egg yolks. Hooray! It did mean that it required a fair bit of cornflour to thicken the custard sufficiently, and even so my vanilla slice still turned out very oozy after the stipulated setting time. You can cook the custard for a bit longer if you want a bit more shape to it, but I do think though that it made the dish a whole lot better, with the soft pastry, melt-in-the-mouth icing, and the just-perfectly-sweet custard speckled with vanilla bean seeds. Hence why I’ve dubbed it Vanilla Slice “Pudding” 😉
I got a little confused with Gourmet Traveller’s initial instructions to halve and roll the pastry, as I was using puff pastry that was ready-rolled (I suspect they just had a solid block of pastry), so I merely cut it to the stipulated 18cm squares. Little did I realise that my pastry would actually shrink a little while baking, so it was too small for my square cake pan. But too combat this, all I did was lift the pastry out of the tin when preparing to slice it, peeled down the edges of the paper and then trimmed off the edges. It meant I had a big bowl of custard “cut-offs” to devour alone. Noms!
Maybe you can think of a better way to do this, but I’m just telling you how I did it 🙂
For the pastry and custard, you will need:
- Three sheets of ready-rolled puff pastry;
- 150g (2/3C) caster sugar;
- 100g (2/3C) cornflour;
- 810ml (3 + 1/4C) milk;
- 125ml (1/2C) passionfruit juice*;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- 2 egg yolks;
- 40g butter, softened.
For the passionfruit icing, you will need:
- 150g pure icing sugar, sieved;
- 2 passionfruit, pulp only.
*You can make passionfruit juice by blending pulp in a food processor to crack the seeds, then strain through a fine sieve. Six passionfruit will yield about half a cup of juice.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Peel apart the sheets of pastry, remove the plastic and cut each to a 18cm square. Prick all over with a fork, then lay on baking paper lined oven trays and bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
To make the custard, combine the sugar and cornflour in a heavy-based medium-saucepan over a medium heat. Add the milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Add the juice and vanilla paste.
Bring just to the boil, whisking until smooth and thick. You want to whisk it so as to evenly distribute the cornflour into the milk, but at the same time, custard thickens a lot faster when stirred with a wooden spoon. I whisked it thoroughly first, then used a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes, then when it began to thicken went back to whisking it vigorously to remove any lumps.
Remove from heat, whisk in the yolks and butter and then set aside to cool slightly.
Line an 18cm square cake pan with baking paper, place a piece of pastry in the base and pour over half of the custard. Level with a palette knife and top with another piece of pastry. Repeat with the remaining custard and pastry. For the icing, combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix before spreading over the slice. Add a little hot water if you need to loosen the mix slightly. Stand for two hours or until set (I left it in the fridge overnight).
When serving, lift the pastry from the tin, peel down the baking paper, trim the sides if required and slice into generous slabs.
Sloppy, oozy, creamy and just plain delicious. I’ll make this a couple more times to see if I can fine-tune the consistency of the custard, but flavour-wise, this hit the spot xx