Summer Fruit Millefeuille
You can use shop-bought puff pastry for this – it won't have such a good flavour as the quick flaky pastry below, which is made with butter – but the caramelising will help the flavour and it does cut down on the time.
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Summer Collection.
To make the pastry, first sift the flour and salt into a bowl, then take the butter from the freezer and, holding it with foil, dip it into the flour and grate it on the coarsest blade of a grater – dipping it into the flour once or twice more until it is all in the bowl.
Next, sprinkle in the lemon juice, then, using your hands, gently bring the dough together, adding a few drops of water to make a firm dough that leaves the bowl clean. Wrap it in a polythene bag and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Next, take a rolling pin and a tape measure, and roll the pastry out to a square measuring 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm). Using the rolling pin to roll the pastry round, carefully transfer it to the baking sheet.
Remove the pastry square from the grill and, using a sharp knife, cut it into three equal strips.
To make the pastry cream, break the egg into a medium-sized mixing bowl, then add the egg yolk and sugar. Next, put the milk on to warm over a gentle heat while you whisk the eggs and sugar together until the mixture becomes thickened and creamy – about 1 minute with an electric hand whisk on the first speed. Then sift in the flour and whisk that in.
Now turn the heat up to bring the milk to boiling point and then whisk the milk into the egg mixture. After that return the whole lot to the pan and continue to whisk, this time with a balloon whisk, over a medium heat until the mixture becomes very thick – keep the whisk going all the time because the mixture can catch very easily if you don't.
Cover the pastry cream with clingfilm to prevent a skin forming, and leave it to get completely cold.
When you come to assemble the millefeuille (which shouldn't be before about an hour before you want to serve it), whip the double cream and caster sugar together till fairly stiff, then fold the pastry cream into it. To assemble, place the bottom layer of pastry on a suitably sized plate or board and spread it with a quarter of the cream.
Now place the next layer of pastry on top, pressing it gently down to fix it in place, and cover this with another layer of cream followed by the rest of the fruit and the rest of the cream.
Finally, arrange the last layer of pastry on top, dust with icing sugar and serve cut into thin slices using your sharpest knife.
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