These easy custard slices are made from crispy puff pastry and filled with creme patissiere. I have been told that I should really call them ‘Angel Slices’ because they taste so divine!
The best custard slice has …
- Layers of crispy light-as-a-feather puff pastry;
- A creamy filling of luscious creme patissiere;
- A dusting of icing sugar to finish it all off.
Seriously, that’s all you need to make these amazing puff pastry custard slices.
And once you’ve made these custard slices, the only problem is eating them, because if you don’t eat them properly, the lovely creme patissiere will squelch out of the sides and dribble down your chin!
After years of experimenting with different ways to eat these delicious morsels (it’s a job – someone has to do it), I’ve discovered that the only way to eat them is to pull them apart, to separate the top from the bottom, and eat them a layer at a time. It’s not very sophisticated, but it does ensure that you won’t lose even the tiniest bit of the creamy custardy filling!
Of course, you can be elegant and use a cake fork, but then the pastry would flake into crumbs and you’d end up making even more of a mess 🙂
The filling itself is similar to that used in my bee sting cake. If you enjoy these custard slices you might like to give that a try too.
What exactly is creme patissiere?
Creme patissiere really just means ‘pastry cream’ and is a thick egg-based custard that holds its shape. It is normally used for fillings in cakes and pastries.
Creme anglaise on the other hand, while having similar ingredients to creme patissiere is a much thinner custard, and is used for pouring over cakes and desserts.
Ingredients for custard slices
***This recipe makes 21 custard slices. You can get the exact quantities and full instructions on the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
You will need a roll of puff pastry. I always use store-bought puff pastry because it’s so easy to use. One roll will make 21 custard slices. If you prefer to make your own pastry, my friend Chloe over at Feast Glorious Feast has a recipe for homemade puff pastry that you might like to try.
These are the ingredients for the basic recipe. I’ve added some alternatives below if you want to change the f lavour.
- Egg yolks – you can save the egg whites and use them to make the meringue for this Eton mess dessert
- Sugar – for sweetness (this is a dessert after all 🙂 )
- Flour – for thickening the custard
- Cornflour (cornstarch) – also used for thickening along with the flour. Flour alone would make the custard a bit stodgy – the cornflour helps lighten it.
- Milk – the liquid component
- Vanilla extract or essence – vanilla extract is made from vanilla beans and has a much stronger flavour than vanilla essence which relies on more artificial flavours. If a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, you can substitute this with 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence. Likewise, if a recipe calls for vanilla essence, you can substitute with half the quantity of vanilla extract.
- Double or whipping cream – don’t think you can get away with single cream. No matter how long you beat it, single cream won’t thicken.
- Replace 1 tablespoon of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to make lemon custard slices
- Add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder along with the flour for chocolate custard slices
How to make custard slices
There are only a few simple steps:
- make the creme patissiere
- prepare and bake the pastry
- assemble the custard slices
Make the creme patissiere
This step should be done first to give the creme patissiere time to cool.
- Beat the egg yolks until they are pale yellow and frothy (image 1 above), then whisk in the flour and the cornflour or cornstarch (image 2 above).
- Bring the milk, sugar and vanilla extract to a boil and pour one quarter of the milk into the egg and flour mixture (image 3 above). Whisk well to remove any lumps, then pour the egg back into the remaining milk. Keep stirring over a low heat until the mixture thickens. It should be very thick (image 4 above). This shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
- Allow to cool then place into the refrigerator until chilled.
**Cover the surface of the custard with a layer of cling film or plastic wrap to prevent a skin forming on the custard. Alternatively, sprinkle the custard with about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar.
- Once the custard has cooled, beat the double cream until it forms stiff peaks and then fold gently through the custard.
- Leave in the refrigerator until required.
Prepare and bake the pastry
You can do this step while the custard is chilling.
If you have bought a slab of puff pastry rather than a roll, or if you have made your own puff pastry, you should roll it out into a rectangle roughly 14″ x 10″ (26cm x 36cm). Otherwise, just unroll the store-bought puff pastry.
- Cut the pastry into 21 evenly-sized rectangles. You will probably find they will be about 2″ x 3″ (5cm x 8cm) large. I just cut into 7 equal column and 3 equal rows (image 1 above).
- Now take each rectangle and gently press all around the edges with your fingers (image 2 above). We do this so that when the puff pastry rises in the oven it forms a pillow shape as it rises – ie the centre of the pastry rises slightly more than the edges.
- Place each rectangle on a baking tray lined with baking parchment (on a silicone baking mat) (image 3 above). This prevents the pastry from sticking to the baking tray. You can place them quite close together – they do not spread very much when baking.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (200C / 400F) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well-risen and golden brown (image 4 above). Keep your eye on it from about 20 minutes – don’t let it get too brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Assemble the custard slices
- Cut the rectangles length-wise in half (image 1 above) and then spoon a generous amount of custard onto the bottom half (image 2 above).
- Gently place the top half of the pastry onto the custard (image 3 above) and dust the tops of the custard slices with icing sugar (or confectioner’s sugar).
- If you prefer, you could mix approximately 1/2 cup of icing sugar with cold water until it forms a smooth slightly runny paste (add the water slowly or you may end up with the paste being too runny) and use this to glaze the top of the custard slices instead of dusting with icing sugar.
Freezing and storage
These custard slices are definitely best eaten freshly made.
However, you can freeze them in a rigid container for up to 4 months. I would freeze them without the dusting of icing sugar.
To use, let them defrost in the refrigerator and dust with icing sugar once they are fully defrosted.
You can also store them (in a covered container) in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but they will start to turn soggy and become unappetising after that.
If you enjoyed these puff pastry custard slices, you may like to try some of my other creamy dessert recipes:
- Fresh pear cream slice
- Easy lemon meringue pie
- No-bake pineapple icebox cake
- Boozy black forest trifle
- Citrus cheesecake with Greek yoghurt
- Peppermint crisp fridge tart
- Eton mess with microwave meringues
Pin for later
Why not pin this recipe for puff pastry custard slices to your pinterest board so you can make them later. Just click the image below.
Easy custard slices with puff pastry recipe
Easy custard slices with puff pastry
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- Baking sheet
- Baking parchment
- Mixing bowl
- Sharp Knife
- 14 oz (395g) frozen puff pastry defrosted
- 4 large egg yolks
- 6 tablespoons (75g) sugar
- 1½ cups milk
- 1½ tablespoons (15g) plain flour
- 1½ tablespoons (12g) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup double or whipping cream
- Beat the egg yolks until they are light and fluffy.
- Stir in the flour and cornflour. The mixture will be quite thick.
- Heat the milk, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan until it just comes to the boil.
- Pour approximately ¼ of the hot milk into the egg and flour mixture and whisk well to remove any lumps, then pour the milk and egg back into the rest of the hot milk in the saucepan.
- Whisk continuously over a low heat until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Whisk the cream until stiff peaks form, then mix it through the cooled custard.
- Leave in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/400°F
- Unroll the pastry and cut into 21 evenly-sized rectangles (7 columns and 3 rows).
- Now take each rectangle and gently press all around the edges with your fingers.
- Arrange the rectangles on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
- Place the baking tray in the pre-heate¼d oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the pastry is well risen and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Slice the cooled pastry rectangles lengthwise in half.
- Spoon a generous amount of custard onto the bottom half and gently cover with the top half of the pastry.
- Sprinkle with icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- Store covered in the refrigerator and eat within 4 days.
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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This recipe has been shared on #CookBlogShare 2021 week 2.