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Perfect for a mid morning or afternoon treat.
For The Custard::
Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. This will prevent the cornstarch from going lumpy later.
In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly, one tablespoon at a time. It will be thick and pasty. Set aside.
Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the milk. Throw in the vanilla pod, too.
Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
When all the milk incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.
Once the mixture thickens and is just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously (to prevent lumps from forming) for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discarding the vanilla bean). Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold. Use as required. Makes 2 cups.
For The Caramel Apple Galettes:
Preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and line two trays with baking paper.
To prepare the apples, quarter them, then cut each quarter into four slices.
Heat a large frying pan, add the butter and stir to melt. Add the apples and toss them through the butter until they begin to soften slightly.
Add the brown sugar and stir, coating the apples in caramel, until the apples are par-cooked (remember they will continue to cook in the oven).
Drain the apples, reserving the caramel sauce, and allow them to cool in the fridge.
Meanwhile, cut your puff pastry into 8 rectangles, mine were about 10x5cm (4x2 inches), and place them on the baking trays.
Using a small, sharp knife, score a rectangle about 1cm (1/3 inch) inside from the border of the puff pastry.
Use a small offset spatula to spread a layer of pastry cream evenly over the inner rectangle of the pastry.
Arrange the apples in a line down the layer of custard.
Place the trays in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180 C (350 F) and bake for a further 15 - 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and puffed and the apples begin to caramelise.
Remove from the oven, brush the apples with the reserved caramel sauce and serve.
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