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Vanilla Custard Cream Squares

Vanilla Custard Cream Squares Recipe

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Welcome to our decadent dessert recipes section! Today, we’re sharing a classic and elegant recipe for Vanilla Custard Cream Squares. These squares feature layers of flaky puff pastry and rich, creamy vanilla custard, topped with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Perfect for any special occasion or just because, these squares are sure to impress. Let’s get started!

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Ingredients

For the Pastry:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed

For the Filling:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional)
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, plus more for dusting

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Puff Pastry

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Bake Puff Pastry: Place each sheet of puff pastry on a prepared baking sheet. Use a fork to prick the pastry all over to prevent it from puffing up too much during baking. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Step 2: Prepare the Custard Filling

  1. Heat Milk: In a large saucepan, heat the whole milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Do not let it boil.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and all-purpose flour.
  3. Add Egg Yolks: Add the egg yolks to the sugar and flour mixture, whisking until smooth and well combined.
  4. Temper Eggs: Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture, a little at a time, to temper the eggs and prevent them from curdling.
  5. Cook Custard: Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
  6. Add Flavorings: Stir in the vanilla extract and rum (if using). Transfer the custard to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and let it cool completely.

Step 3: Whip the Cream

  1. Whip Cream: In a large mixing bowl, whip the chilled heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  2. Fold Cream into Custard: Once the custard is completely cooled, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard until well combined and smooth.

Step 4: Assemble the Cream Squares

  1. Layer Pastry and Custard: Place one sheet of baked puff pastry on a serving platter. Spread the custard cream mixture evenly over the pastry. Top with the second sheet of puff pastry.
  2. Chill: Refrigerate the assembled dessert for at least 2 hours to allow the custard to set.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Dust with Powdered Sugar: Before serving, dust the top of the dessert with powdered sugar.
  2. Slice and Serve: Using a sharp knife, slice into squares and serve. Enjoy your Vanilla Custard Cream Squares!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Puff Pastry: Make sure to prick the pastry with a fork to prevent excessive puffing. If it puffs up too much, gently press it down after baking.
  • Tempering Eggs: Temper the eggs slowly to prevent them from curdling by gradually adding the hot milk.
  • Chilling: Allow the custard to cool completely before folding in the whipped cream to ensure a smooth and stable filling.

Variations

Chocolate Custard Cream Squares

Add 1/2 cup of melted and cooled dark chocolate to the custard mixture before folding in the whipped cream for a chocolate twist.

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Lemon Custard Cream Squares

Add the zest of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the custard mixture for a citrusy flavor.

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Berry Custard Cream Squares

Layer fresh berries such as strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries between the puff pastry and custard for added freshness and flavor.

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Almond Custard Cream Squares

Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract to the custard mixture and sprinkle toasted sliced almonds on top for an almond variation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make these squares ahead of time?

Yes, you can make these squares a day in advance. Store them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze these squares?

Yes, you can freeze the assembled dessert. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

What can I serve with these squares?

These squares are delicious on their own but can also be served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

How can I make the dessert healthier?

Use a sugar substitute suitable for baking, reduce the amount of sugar, and use light cream to make the dessert healthier.

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Vanilla Custard Cream Squares are a classic and elegant dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. With their flaky puff pastry, rich custard filling, and light dusting of powdered sugar, they’re sure to be a hit. Enjoy making and sharing these delicious squares with your family and friends!