1 hour 15 minutes, plus 2 hours cooling and churning of sorbet
This strawberry mille-feuille recipe from Stephen Crane is as elegant a dessert as you can find. Mille-feuille does require a bit of effort, but it does taste as as good as it looks, so this summer dessert is worth the preparation. The custard-filled pastry is served with an English strawberry sorbet. You can find more sweet treats in our dessert recipes collection.
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To start the mille feuille, roll out the puff pastry until it is 2mm thick. Trim and set in the freezer
1 packet of puff pastry
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place on a baking tray between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper, with another baking tray on top to keep the pastry flat. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden
Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Once cool use a serrated knife to cut into 3 even rectangles
For the vanilla cream, whisk the sugar and the egg yolks until light and pale in colour. Bring the milk, cream and vanilla to the boil. Remove from the heat and slowly pour into the egg and sugar mixture while whisking
80g of caster sugar
6 egg yolks
240ml of milk
240ml of cream
2 vanilla pods
Return to the pan and bring the mix up to 85ºC on a medium heat. Be sure to use a flat bottomed wooden spoon or spatula, stirring constantly along the base of the pan. Remove from the heat, add the soaked gelatine and pass through a fine strainer. Set aside to cool in the fridge
2 1/2 gelatine leaves, soaked and squeezed out
As soon as the cream mix is cool and set, whisk to create a smooth texture and place into a piping bag with a small round nozzle
To make the strawberry sorbet, bring the sugar and water to the boil and then cool down. Mix 120ml of the the cooled syrup with the strawberry purée and lime juice then cool before churning in an ice-cream machine
120g of caster sugar
50ml of water
590g of English strawberry purée, passed through a fine sieve
1/2 lime, juiced
To make the caramelised almonds, toast the almonds in the oven at 150ºC/Gas mark 2 for 10 minutes
50g of whole blanched almonds
Combine the sugar and water in small pan and place on a medium to high heat. As soon as the mix reaches a dark golden brown colour, remove from the heat and add the butter. Be sure to keep you face clear of the pan, as it will spit back
100g of caster sugar
1 tsp butter
50ml of water
While the caramel is still hot, use a tooth pick to hold the almonds and dip into the caramel to coat evenly. Place onto a small sheet of grease proof paper to cool and set
For the glazed strawberries, combine the sugar and water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the mint. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature before pouring over the strawberries. Leave to macerate for up to 2 hours
200g of caster sugar
300ml of water
20 English strawberries
1 sprig of fresh mint
To serve, place 1 piece of the mille feuille pastry down as the base. Arrange enough strawberries to cover the pastry and place another piece of the crispy puff pastry on top
Pipe the vanilla cream over the pastry as the next layer and place the third and final piece of pastry on top. Place the caramelised almonds on top and dust with icing sugar. Serve the finished mille feuille with a quenelle of the sorbet and fresh mint
1 sprig of fresh mint
icing sugar for dusting
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