For the cream
- 2 ½ tablespoons 1 oz./25 g cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons ½ oz./15 g whole powdered milk
- 2 cups minus 1 teaspoon (475 ml whole milk)
- 2 tablespoons 1 oz./25 g unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 generous pinch salt
- 1 cup 7 oz./200 g sugar
- Scant ½ cup (100 ml water)
- 1 piece lemon peel from an unwaxed or organic lemon (about ½ x 2 inches (1 x 5 cm))
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Generous ? cup (3 ½ oz./100 g egg yolks)
- 3 tablespoons 1 ½ oz./40 g egg whites
For the puff pastry
- 2 ½ cups 10 ½ oz./300 g all-purpose flour
- ? cup (140 ml water with a pinch of salt)
- 6 ¾ oz. 190 g margarine (choose one recommended for baking) or European-style butter with at least 84 % butterfat, room temperature, plus a little extra to spread over the dough and to grease the molds
For the cream:
- In a heatproof mixing bowl, dissolve the cornstarch and powdered milk with a little of the whole milk.
- Pour the remaining milk into a small saucepan over low heat with the butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir frequently.
- In another saucepan over low heat, place the sugar, water, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick, and heat to 234°F (112°C).
- When the butter has melted and the milk is simmering gently, gradually pour the liquid over the cornstarch-milk powder mixture, stirring constantly.
- Whisk the egg yolks and whites into the cornstarch-milk mixture.
- Remove the lemon peel and cinnamon stick from the syrup and pour it gradually over the other mixture.
- Set the heatproof mixing bowl over a hot water bath and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Pour it into a deep but narrow dish (so that as little as possible will evaporate) and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill for 1 hour.
For the puff pastry:
- Combine the flour and water and knead for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle twice as long as it is wide. The margarine or butter should be malleable enough to shape easily. Spread it over the center of the dough, shaping it into a square with sides the same as the width of the dough. Fold the dough on the left and on the right to meet in the center.
- Roll out to a rectangle three times as long as the width. Fold the top third downward and fold the lower third over the other 2 layers. Rotate the dough 90° (keep the fold on the left each time you rotate). This stage is called a “simple turn.”
- Make another simple turn and once again roll the dough into a rectangle.
- With the long side facing you, dip a pastry brush in water and lightly brush the entire surface of the dough. Roll it up to make a long log shape. Using your fingers, spread margarine over the entire surface of the log to prevent it from drying out. Cover in plastic wrap and chill until 1 hour before you assemble the pastéis.
- Preheat the oven to 465°F (240°C), or as hot as possible. Grease the pastéis molds.
- Gently stretch the log of dough until the diameter is 1 ¼ inches (3 cm) from one end to another.
- Cut it into 1-inch (2.5-cm) slices and place them in the prepared molds. Place a piece of dough at the base of each mold and spread it out, using your thumbs as you turn, until it reaches the top.
- Pour the cream into the molds, stopping about ¹?¹º inch (3 mm) short of the top. Place the molds on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the surface is caramelized in parts and the cream has risen well.
- Remove the sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the paste is out of the molds using a knife. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Special equipment: fairly deep, flared tartlet molds, measuring 1 ¾ inches (4 cm) at the base and 2 ¾ inches (7 cm) at the rim.
From Baklava to Tarte Tatin: A World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes, by Bernard Laurance. © Flammarion, S.A., Paris, 2015
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 30 minutes