The vanilla slice is a staple of bakeries in Australia and in Victoria it is so revered they have a competition to find the best in the state. The passionfruit icing has a sharpness that balances the richness of the pastry and custard. If it isn't the season for passionfruit, try a different icing flavour; you can add 100 grams of melted chocolate to the custard to make a chocolate slice.
Passionfruit vanilla slice
400g rough puff pastry or ready-made puff pastry
6 egg yolks
100g castor sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
500ml milk, warmed in a saucepan
150g icing sugar
pulp of 3 passionfruit
1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the pastry on a well-floured surface and roll into a rectangle, about 36 centimetres x 24 centimetres and 5 millimetres thick, then place on the baking tray. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until crisp and brown. Leave to cool for five minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack.
2. To make the custard, place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk with the sugar and scrapped vanilla. When the sugar has dissolved, gently whisk in the cornflour. Add the warm milk and stir with a whisk gently to prevent lumps forming. Pour the custard into a clean saucepan and place over a low-medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 12 to 15 minutes or until the custard is very thick. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool.
Place the icing sugar in a small bowl, add the passionfruit and mix until you have a smooth paste. Slice the pastry with a serrated knife in half horizontally. Mix the custard a little to soften it then spoon it over the bottom piece of pastry, place the other piece on top and press gently. Pour the icing over the pastry and spread it with a spatula. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting into desired shapes.