Mille-feuille (thousand leaves) is a confectionery product, that has traditionally been made of three layers of baked, thin puff pastry alternating with two layers of pastry cream. Pastry cream is often replaced by whipped cream or jam. The top/ final dough layer is sprinkled with powdered sugar, and sometimes cocoa, cinnamon, crushed nuts (eg roasted almonds). The French also put on candied sugar and add to the interior of the mille-feuille jam or fruit (strawberries).
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Created by François Pierre de La Varenne, a French chef, who describes the book le Cuisinier françois in 1651.
This important book marks the transition from the medieval cuisine of yesteryear, to the great, modern kitchen!
This is the first kitchen book, that documents the considerable culinary innovations realized in France in the 17th century, encoding them in a systematic manner with the help of rules and principles that should govern a kitchen.
Today the Millefeuille is made in many countries, with different names, mostly keeping the basic meaning of "a Thousand Leaves".
After the theoretical analysis, let's see how we can make a millefeuille worthy of its fame, but definitely with Greek influences.
Ingredients (9 servings)
Pastry CreamPut the butter in a saucepan to melt without getting too hot. Remove from heat and add the flour and the cornflour. Stir. Add the milk and water, stirring constantly with a whisk to avoid lumps. Put the saucepan on the fire and add the sugar, stirring until it thickens.
Before getting too hot, add the egg yolks, slightly beaten, stirring with fast movements so they do not get cooked. Finally, add the crushed mastic.
When thick enough and starts to make their first steam / boiling jets, withdraw the cream from the heat and let cool, covered with a membrane in contact with the cream.
This cream is highly aromatic with a wonderful velvety texture!
Beat with the mixer in high speed the vegan whipped cream (I used a "Morfat Creamy", tin from the fridge), with the caster sugar and crushed mastic for 5' or until fluffy and solid. Reduce speed, beating for 5 more minutes slowly adding fresh, cold milk.
From this we get 5 tbsp whipped cream and add, stirring well, to the first cream that is ready and quite cold. This will make it even more fluffy.
Put the whipped cream to the fridge to wait for a while.
AssemblyIn the dessert serving platter, spread on the base 2 tablespoons of pastry cream, so as the pastry does not slip and place an initial layer of phyllo pastry, bringing them into whatever shape we want. Square, rectangle or in-line. Or, for pragmatic reasons a large sheet of puff pastry like what I used.
Upon this spread a strong dose of the pastry cream and repeat the same for the second layer.
In the third and last layer, spread again a touch of cream, but much less because you will add the whipped cream over it, as a final layer.
Add as much whipped cream as you like.
Crush some pastry sheets by hand and put them across the surface of the dessert. Sprinkle with powdered sugar using a strainer and the mille-feuille is ready!
Refrigerate for 2 hours to mix the scents and flavors.
Do not get intimidated from the detailed instructions. It is an easy to make dessert. It only takes a little effort and patience to make the pastry cream. The result will reward you.
*The use of this cream is ideal for makind desserts with whipped cream. With a good beating it is easier to handle than other creams (fresh cream or Crème fraîche), which may demand a special technique to make whipped cream, especially in our hot summer.