Submitted by Charlotte on 6 May 2007 - 5:32pm.
Mille Feuille is French for “a thousand layers”. A photo of my finished product is shown at right. (Not quite a thousand layers but I tried…)
Puff Pastry Dough:
- 2 ½ Cups A.P. Flour
- ¾ Cups Cake Flour
- 8 T Unsalted Butter (1 stick)
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Very Cold Water
- ¼ Cup A.P. Flour
- 1 lb (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter
Pastry Cream Filling:
- 1 C Whole Milk
- 2 T Cornstarch
- 6 T Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 T Butter
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ C Heavy Whipping Cream (liquid)
- Sifted Powdered Sugar
- Thinly Sliced Berries
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
- Pastry Blender
- Pastry Bag
- Medium Mixing Bowl
- 3 qt Sauce Pan
- Rolling Pin
- Measuring Cups/Spoons
- Pizza slicer
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F when almost ready to bake.
Puff Pastry Dough:
- Place the A.P. flour in bowl and sift cake flour over it. Stir. Rub the butter in by hand and use a pastry blender to manually and thoroughly mix in the butter such that no visible pieces of butter remain.
- Dissolve the salt in the water. Dig a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water gradually, ¼ cup at a time. Mix by hand by gently, turning the bowl as you mix. Do not apply pressure (eg, by mixing with a spatula or spoon). The dough should be wet and ropey.
- Press the dough into a square about 1 inch thick on a surface dusted with flour. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes or even overnight.
- Pour the flour onto a clean work surface and coat the butter block (4 sticks of butter lined up in a row like a rectangle; ideally, you would use a 1lb block of butter). Pound the butter block with a rolling pin to flatten it to about 1 inch thickness, on the mound of flour. Turn the flattened block in the flour. As the butter begins to become more workable (but not soft), incorporate the flour into the solid butter. By hand, press the mass into a 1 inch thick square. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 min.
While the butter block and dough are chilling, you can prepare the pastry cream filling….
Pastry Cream Filling:
- Mix the cornstarch and sugar in a bowl.
- Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add to the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Mix thoroughly.
- Boil milk. Add above mixture, little by little, to the boiling milk. Mix gently with a spatula. Leave pan on high heat while mixing every so often. Once a custard-like texture is achieved, remove from heat and strain the custard into a bowl through a sieve.
- Add the vanilla and butter. Mix.
- Cover with plastic and chill in the refrigerator.
- In a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, mix the heavy whipping cream at high speed until whipped into a yogurt-like consistency. Don’t over mix into whipped cream. Chill in refrigerator.
- When you’re ready to form the mille feuilles, remove the pastry cream and whipped cream from the refrigerator. Mix a little whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten the filling. Add more whipped cream as needed.
Turning and Folding the Dough:
- Remove dough and butter block from refrigerator. Dust work surface with flour. Roll out 4 ears/flaps away from the center of the dough. Leave the center of dough intact. It should resemble a mound with 4 flat flaps coming off the center.
- Place the butter block on top of the mound and fold in all 4 flaps. Pinch together the seams so that the butter block is completely covered.
- Dust work surface with flour and gently press the dough with a rolling pin to flatten it a bit. Then roll the dough into a rectangular sheet, a ¼ inch in thickness. The rectangle of dough should be 3x as long as it is wide.
- 1st Turn: Fold both ends of the dough in towards the center, but the flaps should not meet/touch. There should be an inch-wide gap in the center.
- 2nd Turn: Fold one side over the other as if closing a book. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour or even overnight.
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Repeat the turning and folding process to achieve a total of 4 turns of the dough. Chill in plastic wrap for at least 1 hour or even overnight.
Rolling and Baking the Dough:
- Remove dough from refrigerator. Dust surface with flour and roll dough out into a rectangular sheet, 3/8 of an inch thick.
- Using a ruler and pizza slicer, cut out recatangles to the desired size. Pastry will shrink a bit while baking.
- Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper at 350°F for ~ 30 minutes. Dough should puff up 6-10x in height. Cool.
- Using a bread knife, slice each rectangle (horizontally) into 3-4 wafer-thin sheets. Cut the edges so that they are even and straight.
Forming the Mille Feuille:
- Using a pastry bag, pipe filling onto one rectangular wafer.
- Place second wafer on top of the layer of filling and pipe filling onto the second wafer.
- Place third and final wafer on top of the filling. Use an off-set spatula (the kind used for icing a cake) to clean up the edges so that no filling is protruding off the sides.
- Sift powdered sugar over the top layer and place a berry on top for decoration.
- Serve and enjoy.