You need to know how to make millefeuille if only for the purpose of entertaining emergencies. Crisp puff pastry and gently sweetened whipped cream billowing around seasonal fruit. It may seem that you have been slaving over pretty patisserie, but the only real effort is in rolling the pastry out as thin as you can get. A good dusting of flour on the work surface will ease that task.
The pastry is what makes a good millefeuille. Literally translated as ‘a thousand leaves’ – it is achieved through the layers and lightness of a rich puff pastry.
Sugar dusting towards the end of the baking time helps achieve a glazed finish.
We’ve done some millefeuille ideas before – a strawberry one with a pistachio cream, and a rhubarb millefeuille with cardamom cream.
On this occasion we went for a combination of past favourites. Strawberry and rhubarb are good bedfellows. You’ll need to cook the rhubarb a little to soften and sweeten it. You could bake sugar dusted stalks of rhubarb in the oven, poach it in a sugar or cook it with some sugar in a sous vide.
Thin slices of poached rhubarb and fresh strawberry make a pretty pink filling.
I added a touch of anise and vanilla extracts to the cream. It gave a soft, rounded flavour, reminiscent of sweetshop candy. So good. My daughter piped all leftovers of it directly into her mouth. Which is fine- she is five and needs the calories.
As you can see, you can shape them any way you want. You probably want to pipe the cream for a pretty finish but it does not have to be too neat, as all is hidden between the pastry and a final sugar dusting.
- 2 stalks rhubarb
- 4 tablespoons icing (confectioners) sugar
- 1 packet (320g) ready rolled puff pastry
- All purpose flour for dusting
- Icing sugar for dusting
- 250ml (1 cup) heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 tablespoons icing (confectioners) sugar
- 2 drops anise extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla powder or seed of half a vanilla pod
- 15 medium sized strawberries, sliced thinly
- Wash and trim the ends of the rhubarb, before chopping the stalks into 5cm (2inch) pieces.
- Lay the rhubarb in a deep baking dish, sprinkle the sugar over it and cover the dish with foil.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is cooked but still firm.
- Once cooked remove from any juice (which you can keep to flavour the cream if you wish), allow to cool and slice thinly.
- Set the oven temperature to 170DegC
- Unroll the puff pastry, dust your work surface with flour and roll the pastry out to a thickness of 2mm (or as think as you can get).
- Be sure to keep moving the pastry around and adding more flour to stop it from sticking.
- Using a circular cutter cut out circles of pastry and gently lift them using a palette knife onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cover the circles of pastry with a second parchment and place another baking sheet on top.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastry is a pale golden colour.
- Turn up oven temperature to 220Degc, remove the top baking sheet and parchment and dust the pastry with icing sugar.
- Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the sugar melts into a surface glaze.
- Remove pastry from oven, cool on a wire rack.
- Whip the cream to soft peaks and add fold in the sugar, anise and vanilla.
- To construct the millefeuille, pair the circles of pastry up by matching size and hue (they sometimes get slightly misshapen as you lift them onto the baking sheet if you are a less than perfect cook like me!)
- Place each circle glazed side down and pipe the cream onto the top.
- Layer the fruit and sandwich the discs together.
- Dust with a little more icing sugar.
- Keep chilled until ready to serve
For more rhubarb inspiration check out:
Sarah’s lovely no bake rhubarb cheesecake,
Laura’s Meringues with grilled blood orange and rhubarb
Camilla’s Rhubarb Cake
Kellie’s Bergamot and Rose Rhubarb cake
Janice’s Rhubarb and ginger pavlova
So go forth and bake millefeuille!
Have a lovely weekend and Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow to all the UK based mummies in our readership.