Prepare to indulge in the epitome of dessert perfection with our Vanilla Custard Cream Squares. This recipe is a symphony of velvety vanilla custard nestled between layers of buttery, flaky pastry—a delightful treat for any occasion. Join us on this culinary escapade as we guide you through the intricacies of crafting these divine squares that are sure to become the highlight of your dessert repertoire.
For the Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ice water
For the Vanilla Custard Filling:
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
A pinch of salt
For the Topping:
Powdered sugar for dusting
Step 1: Crafting the Pastry
Begin the journey to dessert perfection by creating a buttery, flaky pastry that will cradle the vanilla custard.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
Incorporate the cold, cubed butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Gradually add ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and mix until the dough comes together.
Shape the dough into a rectangle, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Step 2: Preparing the Vanilla Custard Filling
Elevate the experience with a luscious vanilla custard filling that will be the star of the show.
In a saucepan, combine whole milk, heavy cream, and the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean (or vanilla extract). Heat over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer.
In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined.
Slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
Return the combined mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a custard-like consistency.
Remove from heat, strain the custard to remove any lumps, and let it cool to room temperature.
Step 3: Assembling the Squares
Unleash your inner pastry artist as you assemble these heavenly squares.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Roll out the chilled pastry into a rectangle that fits the baking pan.
Gently place the pastry into the pan, trimming any excess dough.
Prick the pastry with a fork to prevent air bubbles during baking.
Bake the pastry for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the pastry to cool completely before spreading the vanilla custard evenly over the surface.
Step 4: Adding the Finishing Touch
Complete the visual appeal and add a touch of sweetness with a light dusting of powdered sugar.
Refrigerate the assembled squares for at least 2 hours to set the custard.
Once chilled, dust the top with powdered sugar, creating an artful presentation.
Ensure your journey to dessert bliss is seamless with these invaluable cook notes.
Pastry Perfection: Keep the butter cold and resist overworking the dough for a flaky, tender pastry.
Custard Consistency: Patience is key when thickening the custard; avoid rushing to ensure a silky-smooth texture.
Chilled Delight: For a perfect set, refrigerate the custard-filled squares for the recommended time before serving.
Let your creativity shine with these delightful variations to suit various tastes.
Fruit Fusion: Add a layer of fresh berries or sliced fruit between the pastry and custard for a burst of fruity goodness.
Chocolate Infusion: Introduce a layer of chocolate ganache over the baked pastry before adding the vanilla custard for a chocolatey twist.
For those adhering to a ketogenic lifestyle, savor the rich flavors without compromising your dietary goals.
Almond Flour Alchemy: Substitute almond flour for all-purpose flour in the pastry for a keto-friendly alternative.
Sweetener Swap: Use a keto-friendly sweetener in place of granulated sugar in both the pastry and custard.
Watch your carb intake without sacrificing taste with these low-carb adjustments.
Coconut Flour Canvas: Opt for coconut flour in the pastry for a lower-carb option.
Moderate Sweetness: Reduce the amount of sugar in the custard for a lightly sweetened, low-carb treat.
Dive into a world of sweetness with our Vanilla Custard Cream Squares, where every layer is a testament to the art of dessert crafting. Whether you follow the classic recipe, explore creative variations, or adapt for keto and low-carb preferences, the result is a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds singing. Elevate your dessert game and create memories with each delectable bite of these divine squares.
Experience the joy of creating, the pleasure of sharing, and the satisfaction of savoring a dessert that transcends the ordinary. Vanilla Custard Cream Squares – where indulgence meets artistry in every velvety bite.