Almond and apricot millefeuilles

Rachel Khoo's French almond and apricot millefeuilles with custard.
Rachel Khoo's French almond and apricot millefeuilles with custard.  Photo: William Meppem

I like to freestyle these millefeuilles and serve them deconstructed in a bowl as a dessert-pudding, rather than meticulously stacking it all up like they would in a fancy Parisian patisserie. The crisp, buttery puff pastry is the perfect pairing for the soft squidgy apricots and creamy almond custard. Remember to use a good quality puff pastry made from pure butter – you'll definitely taste the difference.

Ingredients

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

For the almond milk custard

60g egg yolks (roughly 3 medium egg yolks)

50g castor sugar

20g cornstarch

seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

250ml almond milk

For the millefeuilles

350g pre-rolled all butter puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

350g apricots, halved, stones removed

2 tbsp honey

3 tbsp citrus juice (I used grapefruit, but lemon or orange would work too)

2 tbsp flaked almonds

Method

1. Prepare a swiss roll tin (32cm x 24cm) by lining with cling film. Start by making the almond milk custard. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and thick, then whisk in the cornstarch.

2. Grab a medium saucepan and add the vanilla pod and grains seeds to the almond milk. Bring the almond milk to scalding point, without boiling, just before a boil and switch off the heat. Remove the vanilla pod and pour the milk in a slow stream on into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously all the time.

3. Return the mixture to the pan and whisk continuously over a low to medium heat. Make sure to scrape the sides and the bottom, or otherwise it will burn. The cream will start to thicken. Once it releases a bubble or two, take it off the heat.

4. Pour custard on to prepared tin.a tray lined with cling film. Cover with another sheet of cling film, pat the cling film it so it sticks directly on to the cream, and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

5. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Line a baking tray with baking paper (or use the paper rolled around the puff pastry).

6. If not using pre-rolled pastry, roll the pastry out to about 4mm thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut the puff pastry into 18 rectangles measuring about 4cm x 10cm and place on the baking tray. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the castor sugar.

7. Cover the glazed rectangles with baking paper, then place another baking tray on top; this will stop the pastry rising.

8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

9. Meanwhile, While the pastry is baking, place the apricots in a baking dish and toss with the honey and citrus juice. Scatter with the flaked almonds. Bake in the oven on a shelf below the pastry for about 20 minutes, or until they are tender but still holding their shape.

10. Remove the custard from the fridge, beat the custard and place in a piping bag or sandwich bag. Snip the end off.

11. Pipe a few blobs of custard on to an individual serving plate or bowl, and arrange two or three stick a pastry rectangles around on top at an angle, then place dot a few apricots around the plate. halves on the pastry. Add Place another piece of pastry on there, pipe a few more blobs of custard and add a few more apricot halves. Repeat for the remaining dessertsonce more. Serve immediately.