For me, the creamy, tart and very tasty pomegranate custard is definitely the hero in this delicious summer dessert. The custard is softer than usual vanilla slices, so freezing the assembled slice gives the best results. This can easily be made a day ahead and frozen overnight.
Pistachio and pomegranate give the traditional vanilla slice a Middle-Eastern twist. #BringBackTheClassics
- 2 sheets ready rolled puff-pastry
- 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 375 ml (1 ½ cups) milk
- 375 ml (1½ cups) thickened cream
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 150 g sugar
- 85 g (⅔ cup) cornflour
- 6 egg yolks
- pink food colouring
- 20 g unsalted pistachios
- 1 tsp icing sugar
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.
Chilling time: 4 hrs or overnight
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line a 22 cm square baking tin, leaving the sides overhanging so you can easily lift the slice from the tin.
2. Place the pastry sheets on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Top each pastry sheet with another sheet of baking paper and place another baking tray on top as a weight. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
3. De-seed the pomegranate, then place the seeds in a fine sieve over a bowl and press the back of a large metal spoon against the seeds to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the seeds.
4. Place the pomegranate juice and molasses in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened. Set aside.
5. Place the milk, cream, butter, vanilla and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until just boiling.
6. Combine the cornflour and 125 ml (½ cup) water in a small bowl, then whisk it into the cream mixture. Place the yolks in a large bowl and lightly beat. Whisking continuously, gradually add the hot cream mixture into the yolks, then pour the mixture back into the pan. Stir over low heat, whisking continuously for 1 minute or until thickened and smooth.
7. Pour half the custard into a bowl, add the pomegranate juice and stir until well combined. Add a few drops of pink food colouring until you get the desired colour.
8. Place 1 sheet of pastry in the prepared tin, trimming the edges with a serrated knife if needed. Spread the vanilla custard on top of the pastry sheet, then top with the pomegranate custard. Press down the remaining pastry sheet on top of the custard.
9. Place the pistachios in a small food processor and blitz until finely ground. Sift the ground pistachio and icing sugar into a bowl.
10. To serve, use a serrated knife and cut into 12 portions. Dust with pistachio dust and serve chilled.
•Pomegranate molasses is available in the Middle-Eastern section of supermarkets or in Middle-Eastern grocers.
Lead illustration by Billie Justice Thomson.