Christmas is coming folks! I know this because this past Saturday I finally capitulated – and put up all my Christmas decorations. It may seem early, but given that I’ve been contemplating doing so since the beginning of October, I think I’ve shown remarkable restraint. I obviously feel about Christmas the way a 5-year-old does – super duper excited. So now the entire house is bauble-pimped to the max. There’s silver and white and gold and fairy lights everywhere… All a bit OTT, just the way I like it.
I love entertaining at the best of times, but even more so during the festive season. And I seriously don’t believe in stressing in the kitchen. This is the time of year when my naughty hacks and shortcuts get dusted off, like this milk tart mille feuille. It sounds impressive, it looks amazing, and it’s no trouble at all. That’s because the filling is a stovetop one that you can make a day or two beforehand and pop in the fridge. And the pastry comes out a box. Assemble it in minutes on the day and wait for the compliments
All you need is…
Stovetop milk tart filling, cooled – get the recipe here
Woolworths All Butter Puff Pastry (you really need a good all-butter one, don’t cut corners!)
half a cup fresh cream
Turning a good, shop-bought all-butter puff pastry into a milk tart mille feuille is so easy! Just cut one sheet of puff pastry into three equal strips. Sift over a bit of castor sugar and place the strips on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Top with another sheet of baking paper and place a second baking sheet on top to weigh it down. Bake in a preheated 200 degree Celsius oven for 20 minutes. Remove the top baking sheet and baking paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the pastry is cooked through and light golden brown. Allow the pastry to cool completely. Whisk the cream with one tablespoon of castor sugar until stiff. Fold the cream through the milk tart filling. To assemble the milk tart mille feuille, spoon the filling into a piping bag and pipe onto the first pastry sheet. Dust liberally with cinnamon. Repeat with the second layer. Place the third layer of pastry on top and dust this milk tart mille feuille with icing sugar for the pretty.
NB: I am not going to lie here – cutting this milk tart mille feuille in such a way that it stays pretty is a bit of a beast. A very sharp bread knife works. Sharp kitchen scissors work even better as individual pastry layers can be cut without disturbing the filling too much. But by far the best way to do it is to cheat a bit: Use a sharp knife to cut the three layers of pastry into equal portion-sized slices. Arrange the slices to form what looks like whole sheets of pastry again and only then pipe on the filling. Once you’ve dusted over the icing sugar you’ll hardly notice – and serving is a breeze. Less stress, more impress! My kind of cooking.