I’ve always wanted to make a vanilla slice- after all, they are the one treat I enjoy the most when I occasionally pop into the local bakery. For many years, I filed the humble vanilla slice into the CBF Too Hard category.
Then I had a serious attack of “If-I-Don’t-Get-It-Now-I’m-Going-To-Die-itis” and much to my annoyance, the local bakery was closed. I mean, really, how inconvenient closing at a reasonable hour- there are people who want bread and sweets at 10pm, you know?!
So anyway, I set out to find an easy enough recipe that didn’t involve hours of pastry making and farting around with custard, because I would epically fail at both as we know…and I’m lazy.
So I found the easiest recipe I could and gave it a whirl…and I was impressed.
This vanilla slice was yummy and close enough to the bakery perfection I have adored over the years.
If I could give you one bit of advice, it would be to definitely refrigerate this overnight, not just until you think it’s cool enough.
I am impatient by nature and it took me two attempts to get these right, mainly because I tried to cut it before it was set.
So I sat there with a spoon and ate it from the tray…I mean, it gets all jumbled up in your tummy anyway, right?
For the sake of getting a decent photo, I tried again, this time refrigerating it overnight and had much more success.
- 2 bought puff pastry sheets
- 250ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 3/4 cup cornflour
- 1/2 cup custard powder
- 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 750ml (3 cups) thickened cream
- 50g unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
For the icing:
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Hot water
- Preheat oven to 210°C. Line a 23cm square pan with aluminium foil, so that the foil comes up over the sides (this allows you to lift out the slice).
- Place each pastry sheet on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, then bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Once cool, place 1 pastry sheet, cooked-side up, in bottom of pan. (You may need to trim it slightly to fit.)
- Place milk in a pan over medium heat. Scrape in vanilla seeds and add bean too. Warm gently, then set aside for 10 minutes.
- Place cornflour, custard powder and caster sugar in a pan. Strain milk, discarding bean, into pan with cornflour and whisk until smooth. Add cream, then return to heat, stirring constantly, over low heat until the mixture thickens and boils. Add butter, stirring well to combine, then remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks, one at a time, until smooth. Pour into pastry-lined pan and set aside to cool slightly before placing other piece of pastry, cooked-side up, on top.
- To make the icing combine all ingredients in a bowl- gradually add hot water and stir until you have a thick but easily spreadable icing. Smooth over the top piece of pastry and refrigerate overnight.