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This strawberry mille feuille recipe from Stephen Crane is elegant enough to serve to a princess. Mille feuille does require a bit of effort, but it does taste is 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

Method
1.
To start the mille feuille, roll out the puff pastry until it is 2mm thick. Trim and set in the freezer
2.
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
3.
Remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. Once cool use a serrated knife to cut into 3 even rectangles
4.
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
Preparing vanilla pod
To prepare a vanilla pod, cut halfway through the bean lengthways. Open it up and scrape out the seeds, drawing the blade of the knife against the flat open surface of the bean
5.
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
6.
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
7.
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
Churning ice cream and sorbet
If you turn the ice-cream maker on 5 minutes before churning, it will guarantee that the mixture being churned cools at a faster, more consistent rate. Check on the ice cream and sorbet as it churns and consult the ice cream maker's instruction manual before use
8.
To make the caramelised almonds, toast the almonds in the oven at 150ºC/Gas mark 2 for 10 minutes
9.
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
10.
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
11.
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
12.
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
13.
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
Quenelling
To quenelle, hold a spoon with the rounded bottom up. Place the far edge of the spoon into the mixture with the near edge close to the surface but not touching it. Drag the spoon towards you, twisting your wrist up. The mixture should curl up with the shape of the spoon and fold into an egg shape
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Corney & Barrow matching wine

Find out why Corney & Barrow match this Mille feuille recipe with a sweet white wine

Ingredients

Mille feuille

  • 1 packet of puff pastry

Glazed strawberrries

Vanilla cream

  • 80g of caster sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 240ml of milk
  • 240ml of cream
  • 2 vanilla pods, split and scraped
  • 2 1/2 gelatine leaves, soaked and squeezed out

Strawberry sorbet

Caramelised almonds

  • 50g of whole blanched almonds
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 50ml of water

Garnish

Equipment

  1. Fine sieve
  2. Piping bag 1-2cm nozzle
  3. Greaseproof paper
  4. Thermometer

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This easy strawberry mille feuille recipe is a magnificent dessert. Stephen Crane's lovely dish is served with an English strawberry sorbet.

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