2 375gm sheetsbutter puff pastry (see note)200 gmfresh dates, such as medjool, pitted, halvedFor brushing:eggwashFrangipane200 gmsoftened butter 200 gmcaster sugar200 gmalmond meal4eggs35 gm (¼ cup)plain flourSauce anglaise500 ml (2 cups)milk½vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped125 gmcaster sugar5egg yolks
For frangipane, beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, add almond meal, mix to combine, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, add flour and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until set (20-30 minutes).
For sauce anglaise, bring milk and vanilla bean to the simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk sugar and yolks in a bowl until pale and fluffy, then gradually add milk mixture, whisking continuously to combine. Return to a clean saucepan and stir continuously over low heat until mixture coats a spoon thickly (10-12 minutes). Remove from heat, strain through a sieve into a bowl placed over iced water and stir occasionally until chilled (10-15 minutes), then refrigerate until required.
Preheat oven to 180C. Cut one sheet of pastry into a 25cm-diameter circle and place on a baking tray. Spread frangipane 2cm thick over pastry, leaving a 2cm border, then top with dates. Roll out remaining sheet of pastry on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper, cut out a 28cm-diameter circle, brush edges with eggwash, lay over frangipane and gently press edges to seal. Refrigerate to rest (1 hour). Lightly brush top with eggwash, pierce hole in centre, score with a small sharp knife in the shape of a pinwheel and bake until puffed, golden and crisp (30-35 minutes). Set aside to firm slightly (5 minutes). Cut into wedges and serve hot with sauce anglaise.
Note At GT we use Carême puff pastry, which comes in pre-rolled 375gm sheets. If it's unavailable, substitute another good-quality butter puff pastry or make your own using our puff pastry recipe.
This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.