Easy Vanilla Custard Cream Squares

A close-up view of a slice of Vanilla Custard Cream Square. The top layer is made of flaky puff pastry, filled with a creamy vanilla custard, and topped with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Imagine this: a delightful marriage of flaky, buttery puff pastry and a smooth, velvety vanilla custard cream. Each bite is a symphony of textures and flavors, a dance on your taste buds that leaves you wanting more. This, my friends, is the magic of Vanilla Custard Cream Squares.

These beauties are easier to make than you might think. They’re perfect for a special occasion, a delightful afternoon treat, or even to impress your guests with a homemade dessert that looks like it came straight from a bakery.

So, are you ready to create this slice of heaven? Let’s dive in!

The Secret Weapon: Flaky Puff Pastry

The foundation of our Vanilla Custard Cream Squares lies in the perfect puff pastry. This golden, light, and airy dough is what elevates this dessert from simple to spectacular. The best part? You don’t have to be a master baker to achieve those flaky layers.

We’ll be using store-bought puff pastry for this recipe, a secret weapon that saves time and frustration. Look for frozen puff pastry sheets in the freezer aisle of your grocery store. Thaw them according to package instructions before we begin creating our masterpiece.

Ingredients for Vanilla Custard Cream Squares

Now that we’ve unveiled the secret weapon, let’s gather the ingredients to bring these Vanilla Custard Cream Squares to life:

Pastry:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry, thawed (store-bought)

Vanilla Custard:

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 eggs, separated
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons rum (optional) – adds a touch of complexity, but can be omitted

Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Finishing Touches:

  • Powdered sugar for dusting

With this simple list of ingredients, we’re just a few steps away from enjoying this delightful dessert!

Whip Up Vanilla Custard Perfection

Our vanilla custard is a symphony of simple steps. Here’s the condensed version:

  1. Preheat and Bake: Oven to 350°F (175°C). Bake both puff pastry sheets for 10 minutes each, until golden and puffed. Let them cool.

  2. Whisk the Sweet Stuff: In a bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy.

  3. Dry Ingredients Join the Party: Slowly whisk in flour to avoid lumps. Add vanilla extract and rum (optional) for a flavor boost.

  4. Scald the Milk: Heat 3 cups of milk in a saucepan until it simmers gently.

  5. Tempering Magic: Slowly whisk a cup of hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. This prevents scrambled eggs in the final custard!

  6. Thicken Up: Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with remaining milk. Whisk constantly over low heat until it thickens like a creamy coating on a spoon.

  7. Cool Down: Remove the custard from heat and let it cool slightly.

  8. Whip It Good: In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form.

  9. Folding Finesse: Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cooled custard using a spatula. Be patient and avoid over-mixing to keep it light and airy.

With this quick rundown, you’re well on your way to creating the perfect vanilla custard filling for your dream dessert!

Assembling Your Vanilla Custard Dream

Now that the golden puff pastry and the velvety smooth custard are ready, it’s time to assemble this masterpiece!

  1. The First Layer: Place one of the cooled puff pastry sheets on the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.

  2. Custard Bliss: Carefully pour the cooled vanilla custard over the puff pastry, ensuring it spreads evenly across the bottom layer.

  3. Chilling for Perfection: Now comes the crucial step – chilling! Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate the entire creation for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight. This allows the custard to fully set and achieve its perfect creamy texture.

Tipping the Scales in Your Favor: Tricks for the Perfect Custard Cream Squares

A few simple tips can elevate your Vanilla Custard Cream Squares from good to spectacular:

  • Fresh is Best: Use the freshest ingredients you can find for the best flavor and texture.
  • Don’t Overbake: Keep a watchful eye on the puff pastry while baking. You want it golden brown and flaky, not burnt.
  • Temper with Care: The tempering step (adding hot milk to the egg yolks) is essential to prevent scrambled eggs in your custard. Take your time and whisk slowly.
  • Patience is a Virtue: Resist the urge to peek into the fridge constantly! Letting the custard chill for a sufficient amount of time ensures a perfectly set and creamy filling.
Print
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A close-up view of a slice of Vanilla Custard Cream Square. The top layer is made of flaky puff pastry, filled with a creamy vanilla custard, and topped with whipped cream and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Easy Vanilla Custard Cream Squares


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place each puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add three cups of milk to a sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, vanilla, rum (if using), and remaining 1 cup of the milk.
  4. When milk has come to a boil, fold egg yolk mixture into boiling milk and slowly stir until thickened.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, and slowly fold into the custard mixture.
  7. Place one of the puff pastry sheets on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread custard evenly over the top. Place in refrigerator to chill until cool and stiff, 1-2 hours.
  8. When custard has chilled, beat whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar with an electric mixer until stiff. Spread evenly on top of custard.
  9. Cut second pastry sheet into 15 squares and place over whipped cream. Return to refrigerator to chill for 2 more hours.
  10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

With these simple steps and helpful tips, you’re now equipped to create a dessert that will leave your family and friends speechless. The combination of the flaky puff pastry and the smooth vanilla custard is pure bliss in every bite. So, preheat your oven, gather your ingredients, and get ready to embark on this delightful baking adventure. A slice of heaven awaits!

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