It’s a Spring. There’s a long weekend coming up. And the weather’s fine. We’re not sure what you’re planning, but we think cracking open a bottle of bubbles and baking something sweetly impressive sounds like a grand idea.
We’re mad about Krone Vintage Rosé Cuvée Brut 2018… a salmon pink blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay .. with fresh red fruits – pomegranates and cranberries taking centre stage. It’s lovely with simple food like charcuterie, crusty sourdough and a ripe, melty Camembert, or with something sweet, like this classic French mille-feuille. Well-known food stylist, chef and photographer Bianca Davies shared her recipe with us … give it a go. The bubbles are available for around R165 from good bottle stores. Details: kronemcc.com
Classic French Mille-Feuille
You’ll need: 500ml full cream milk; 5 XL free-range egg yolks; 125g sugar; 30g cornstarch; 30g flour; 1 vanilla pod or 1 Tbsp vanilla paste / extract with seeds; 350g raspberries; 2 x 250g all butter puff pastry sheets; quarter cup pistachios, roughly chopped; icing sugar for dusting
If using a vanilla pod- slice the vanilla pod lengthways and using the back of the knife, slide it down the length of the exposed pod to scrape out the seeds. Add both the pod and the seeds to the milk. In a large saucepan add the milk, roughly a third of the sugar and vanilla. Heat to a simmer. While the milk is heating, whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. Then add the cornstarch and flour. Whisk well to combine. Once the milk has come to a simmer, remove the vanilla pod if using. Pour a third of the hot milk over the egg mixture in a very slow stream and whisk vigorously until smooth and thoroughly combined. Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk and continue to whisk over a medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens, being careful not to let it burn on the bottom of the pan. Once the pastry cream starts to bubble cook for another two minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour pastry cream into a shallow dish and place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool slightly and then refrigerate until cold.
Make the puff pastry layers. Preheat oven to 220°C, and line two baking trays with baking paper. Cut squares of pastry in half to form 3 identical rectangles out of your pastry and place on baking trays. Save the fourth piece for something else like cheese straws or cinnamon sugar twists. Place another piece of baking paper on top of each tray of pastry rectangles. Place another baking tray on top of the parchment – this helps weigh the pastry down during baking, so it doesn’t puff up too much. Bake the pastry layers for 15 minutes, then remove the top baking sheet and baking paper and bake for 4-5 minutes more, until they are deeply golden brown. If the underside isn’t crisp, flip them over and bake until both sides are golden and cooked through. Let cool completely.
Assemble the mille-feuille just before serving. Whisk the cold pastry cream until smooth again. Add a dot of pastry cream to the serving plate/ board to act as ‘glue’ and put a piece of pastry on top. Generously spread a layer of pastry cream over the pastry and add a layer of raspberries. Scatter with a few pistachios and repeat the stages until you have a three layered showstopper of a dessert. Finish it off with a generous dusting of icing sugar.
Serve immediately with a cold bottle of Krone Brut.
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