Unfortunately it is winter in South Africa and I have been searching high and low for fresh stone fruit but without success. I found some plums at Woolworths, but decided against buying it because it was imported from Spain and at R8.00 per plum for a very small plum it was definitely not worth it. In the end I used tinned peaches for my entry. The dish was supposed to more glamorous, but in the end this was the best I could do, but it was enjoyed by everyone!
Traditionally, a mille feuille is made up of three layers of puff pastry alternating with two layers of pastry cream (custard). I have included some tinned peaches which was infused with some brandy and spices inbetween the layers. Although the dessert was served cold or rather at room temperature, the spices ensured that it was a very nice dish to serve on a sunny winter afternoon!
For the drunken peaches:
1 x 820g tinned peach halves
1 whole cinnamon stick
2 star anise seeds
Put all the ingredients into a sauce pan and heat to boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down.
For the Vanilla custard:
pinch of salt
4 egg yolks
60ml corn flour
5ml vanilla extract
Place the sugar, salt, egg yolks, milk and corn flour into a heavy based saucepan.
Bring to the boil over medium heat and simmer until thick, whisking all the time.
Remove from the heat and stir the butter and vanilla in.
Transfer to a cold bowl and place a layer of plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to prevent a “skin” forming at the top.
Chill for 2 hours.
For the pastry:
1 x 400g good quality puff pastry, defrosted
Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Grease a large baking sheet.
Roll the pastry out a little, and cut into 3 equal sheets.
Place on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Cool on cooling racks.
For the topping:
100g milk chocolate, melted.
Place one layer of baked puff pasty on a serving dish.
Drain the peaches and cut ⅓ of the peaches in slices and place on top of the puff pastry. Spoon a ⅓ of the custard over.
Place another layer of puff pastry on top, followed with another ⅓ of the peaches, sliced and spoon another ⅓ of the custard over.
Top with the last puff pastry layer and drizzle the melted chocolate over in a zigzag pattern.
Heat a grill pan on the stove till piping hot and cook the last ⅓ of the peaches in the pan until grill marks appear. Arrange on the top and at the side of the Mille Feuille and refrigerate for an hour.
Take out of the fridge an hour before serving and allow reaching room temperature.
Serve with the left-over custard.