Suz, you couldn't imagine just how much we could enjoy this challenge. Because, you know, milhojas (mille-feuille) is my H's favorite!
I loved the puff pastry recipe: using beurrage instead of butter made it really simple to work, and the end result was just perfect. But for the sake of the readers, let's go step-by-step through the recipe.
First you get all your dough ingredients measured, ready and at hand: flour, sugar, butter and water, that's all.
Then you add the salt and chilled butter to the flour...
...and mix it with your fingers until you get all the butter rubbed in..
Once finished, add the water and mix with your fingers untill all is incorporated.
Turn the dough on a well floured surface and knead for 4 minutes, until you get a nice and soft dough.
You then cover it in film and pop it in the fridge for about half and hour. Meanwhile, we prepare the beurrage with butter, flour and a fork:
Once mixed, we make it into a nice squarish shape, wrap it in film and pop it in the fridge too for at least 15 minutes.
Now that everything is chilled, we take both things out, and on a well floured counter spread the dough into a square. We place the beurrage neatly so that the corners of the beurrage touch the sides of the dough square, and then fold the dough around. It's not as difficult as it seems, even lovely little hands can do it easily!
Pinch all the seams together and turn it around.
With the rolling pin, we flatten the dough and then spread it into a rectangle, folding it in three like a letter
and then turning it 90 degrees. We then repeat this spreading and folding once more, wrap it again and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. After this time has passed, we repeat the steps above again, and pop it in the fridge again for 30 minutes. We then do it again (that gives us a total of 6 "turns") and then we wrap it for the last time and leave it in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
While waiting, you can make your creme patissiere and a quince jam. Or an apple jam, if you like it better. For the quince jam, I used two quinces, half their weight in sugar, a glass of water, a bit of vanilla essence, half a cinnamon stick and a slice of lemon.
The following day, when we are ready to bake, we take the dough (I used a fourth) and on a floured counter spread it to a 2-3 mm thickness. Put on a piece of wax paper on a baking sheet, make it a nice square, cut it into three equal parts and place another piece of wax paper on top. Place a heavy pan or tray on top and pop it in a preheated oven (180º). After 15 minutes, take out the tray and the top paper and allow to brown for 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool, each sheet will look beautifully layered, like this:
I made three versions of the millefeuille:
1. Quince jam and creme patissiere, topped with powdered sugar:
2. Apple jam, walnut and honey, topped with powdered sugar as well (this was my little kitchen helper and my favorite):
3. H's favorite, meringue (both layers)
I still had some left-over puff pastry, so I made a beautiful tatin-like apple tart. It was awesome, I used this recipe for it. You should make it. Really!
Well, what you should too is have a look and see what the rest of the DBs have done this month, they are awesome too!