Did you ever indulge in custard? The egg custard of our childhood desserts often brings back fond memories. During our exploration of similar treats, we realized that our familiar egg custard closely resembles the vanilla custard many others grew up enjoying. Ultimately, the name doesn’t matter much because custard, in any form, is a delightful and satisfying dessert.
These vanilla custard bars are simply irresistible. Their straightforward and uncomplicated recipe makes them an unbeatable sweet delight.
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Custard was a beloved treat during my childhood, filled with fond memories of egg custard. However, upon exploring, we realized our ‘egg custard’ was akin to what many call vanilla custard. No matter its name, custard remains an exquisite dessert, always hitting the sweet spot.
Instead of traditional custard in a bowl, we ventured into making vanilla custard slices. These slices, a classic in some cultures, boast a luscious vanilla custard nestled between crispy puff pastry layers.
These slices are exceptionally smooth and delicious, akin to a bakery masterpiece. Vanilla custard slices are perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a personal indulgence or a heartfelt gift (and they are definitely appreciated!).
A vanilla custard bar is a delightful dessert featuring a rich vanilla custard sandwiched between two layers of pastry. The outer pastry layers can be either baked to a golden crispness or crafted from flaky puff pastry or buttery shortcrust pastry. At the heart of this treat lies the creamy custard filling, traditionally prepared with a blend of eggs, milk, sugar, and a generous infusion of vanilla extract, creating a smooth and indulgent center. This dessert is a popular choice for those who appreciate the classic combination of vanilla and custard, encased in a light pastry.
To create Classic Vanilla Custard Bars, you’ll need a straightforward set of ingredients:
Pre-made puff pastry
Fine granulated sugar
- 1 package of puff pastry (16 oz., 2 sheets), thawed
- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ½ cup water
- ⅔ cup caster (superfine) sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 egg yolks, beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, as needed
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets and a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides of the dish.
- Unroll puff pastry sheets onto the lined baking sheets. Prick all over with a fork, avoiding piercing through.
- Optional: Top each sheet of puff pastry with another piece of parchment paper and place another baking sheet on top to act as a weight.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.
- Optional: Trim the puff pastry edges to fit into the baking dish.
- In a saucepan, whisk milk, cream, butter, vanilla, and sugar over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges.
- Create a slurry by mixing flour with water. Whisk into the hot milk mixture, then remove from heat.
- Temper the egg yolks by whisking a bit of the hot milk mixture into them. Then, off the heat, whisk the yolks into the saucepan.
- Return the pan to heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 30-60 seconds, whisking continuously, until the custard thickens.
- Pour the custard over one sheet of puff pastry in the baking dish. Place the second sheet on top, trimming if needed, and press down gently.
- Refrigerate for 3-4 hours until the custard sets.
- Before serving, dust with powdered sugar, slice, and enjoy!