A well-baked and deep golden pastry is the key to a good vanilla slice — sandwiching it between two large oven trays means that the pastry isn’t allowed to ‘puff’ while baking, resulting in a wonderfully crisp casing for the luscious custard and mango filling.
- 2 x 24 cm sheets frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry
- icing sugar, to dust
- 40 g (⅓ cup) cornflour
- 50 g (⅓ cup) custard powder
- 150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
- 300 ml pure cream
- 40 g butter, cubed
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 1 large ripe mango, flesh chopped (about 300 g flesh)
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 10 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line a square 24 cm (base measurement) cake tin with two strips of foil, extending it about 10 cm over the sides.
Place a sheet of pastry on a large oven tray. Cover with non-stick baking paper and then place another oven tray, the same size as the first, on top to weigh the pastry down. Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden and crisp. Remove the top tray and then cool the pastry. Repeat with the remaining pastry sheet.
To make the mango ripple, process the mango flesh in a small food processor or with a stick blender until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan with the sugar and lemon juice. Simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until thick and pulpy. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, cover and place in the fridge while making the custard.
To make the vanilla custard, sift together the cornflour and custard powder into a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and then use a balloon whisk to gradually stir in the milk and then the cream. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, egg yolks and vanilla until well combined. Pour into a large bowl, cover the surface of the custard directly with a piece of plastic wrap and set aside for about 10 minutes to cool slightly.
Place one of the baked pastry sheets in the lined pan, trimming to fit. Spread about one third of the warm custard evenly over the pastry in the pan. Add alternate spoonfuls of the mango puree and the remaining custard over the top and then drag a flat-bladed knife or palette knife through the mixture to create a swirl pattern. Top with the remaining pastry sheet, trimming to fit if necessary, and press down gently. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 3 hours or until firm enough to cut.
To serve, cut into 16 portions and dusted liberally with icing sugar.
• This slice will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Aussie Day favourites.