- 2 sheets shop-bought puff pastry
- 2 cups milk (500ml)
- Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 100 gm cornflour
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks, at room temperature
- For dusting: sieved icing sugar
- 1Preheat the oven to 210C and line two oven trays with baking paper.
- 2Place the sheets of puff pastry on the prepared trays and bake until crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- 3Heat the milk and vanilla seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.
- 4Place the cornflour and sugar in a heatproof bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk until pale and creamy. Add one-third of the hot milk and stir to combine, then add the remaining hot milk and stir to combine.
- 5Return the mixture to the pan over low heat and bring to a gentle boil, then transfer to a bowl and leave to cool completely.
- 6Line a 25cm x 12cm straight-sided cake tin with enough plastic wrap so that it hangs over the sides. Trim the pastry sheets to fit the tin. Place one pastry sheet in the base of the tin, add the custard and evenly spread. Top with the remaining pastry sheet and refrigerate until the custard is set, ideally overnight.
- 7Remove from the tin using the plastic wrap as handles, generously dust with icing sugar and cut into 6-8 slices.
Note "Vanilla slice takes me straight back in time to the school tuckshop. Back then, I didn't appreciate the time and skill that went into making these delicious treats. The trickiest part of this recipe is making sure the custard sets perfectly. My first couple of batches turned out a bit sloppy but I didn't let them go to waste - they were still delicious and I just ate them with a spoon. If your first attempt doesn't set right, don't be disheartened - it will still taste good. Keep trying until you get the ideal set."Australia's Favourite Recipes, edited by Leila McKinnon, is published by Plum Pan Macmillan ($29.99, pbk). The recipe here has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.