The classic French pastry has been given a summer update – white peaches, basil and freshly cracked black pepper layered with a vanilla crème patissiere cream and crisp layers of puff pastry.
- 3 x 24 cm sheets frozen ready-rolled butter puff pastry
- 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- icing sugar, to dust
- 6 firm, ripe white peaches (about 850 g)
- 24 medium basil leaves, torn
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 vanilla bean
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 3 tsp cornflour
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 hours
To make the basil-infused peaches, halve the peaches and remove the stones, cut into thin wedges. Place in a shallow glass or ceramic dish and sprinkle with the basil, icing sugar and lemon juice. Cover and place in the fridge to macerate for up to 4 hours.
To make the crème patissiere, split the vanilla bean lengthways and use a small sharp knife to scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds and bean into a medium saucepan with the milk and cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and remove the vanilla bean. Use a balloon whisk to whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour together in a heatproof bowl until well combined. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture until smooth and well combined. Return to the heat and stir constantly with the whisk over medium heat until the mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer, stirring constantly with the whisk, for 2 minutes. Pass the crème patissiere through a sieve into a heatproof bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line 2 large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
Meanwhile, cut the whole sheets of puff pastry into eight rectangles. Place on the lined oven trays. Put 1 tray in the fridge. Cover the pastry rectangles of the remaining tray with another sheet of 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 30 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden and crisp. Remove from the oven, remove the top tray and then cool the pastry on the tray. Repeat with the remaining tray of pastry.
To serve, remove the peaches from the basil-infused syrup, strain the syrup and reserve. Use an electric mixer with a whisk attachment or a balloon whisk to whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Stir the crème patissiere to ‘loosen’ it slightly, add half the whipped cream and use a spatula or large metal spoon to mix until well combined. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until evenly combined. Place a pastry rectangle on each serving plate and spread with half the crème patissiere mixture. Top with half the drained peaches and season with pepper. Repeat with the remaining pastry rectangles, crème patissiere mixture, peaches and pepper, finishing with the pastry rectangles. Sprinkle liberally with icing sugar and serve immediately with the reserved syrup passed separately.
• The pastry layers can be baked up to 4 days ahead of serving. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or 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.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Stone fruit.