Was custard a staple in your childhood? Our memories of childhood treats are replete with egg custard, and upon exploring similar meals, we concluded that what we called egg custard was actually more like what others called vanilla custard. The bottom line is that, regardless of the name, the custard is a divinely wonderful dessert that never fails to satisfy!
Delectable, Incredibly Silky Vanilla Custard Bars – A True Classic!
We opted to make vanilla custard slices instead of a custard that would be scooped out of a bowl or ramekin. These bars, which are considered a classic in some places, feature all the creamy vanilla (or egg) custard you can imagine sandwiched between crunchy layers of puff pastry.
These bars are an incredibly silky, delectable dessert that could have come straight from a bakery. There is never a bad time for a vanilla custard slice, whether you’re whipping up a dish for yourself and your loved ones or preparing a treat to give as a gift (and believe us, they will be eternally grateful!).
To make Classic Vanilla Custard Bars
The ingredients are fairly simple.
- Whole milk
- Heavy cream
- Store-bought puff pastry
- Caster sugar or superfine sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
To make this recipe gluten-free (you should use these ingredients instead):
Puff pastry – find gluten-free puff pastry sheets like GeeFree Gluten Free Puff Pastry. Schar Gluten Free Puff Pastry and Jus Rol are also other options you can easily get from the store.
Use gluten-free flour blends such as King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. Or swap it with cornflour.
Use only pure vanilla extract or the ones tested and labeled as gluten-free especially if you are extremely sensitive to gluten.
Steps To Make Classic Vanilla Custard Bars
Step 1: Line two baking sheets and a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang on each side. Preheat oven to 350°.
Step 2: Unroll puff pastry sheets onto prepared baking sheets and lightly pierce the dough with a fork, avoiding the bottom.
Optional: Cover each puff pastry sheet with parchment paper and a baking sheet to weigh it down.
Step 3: Bake sheets for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Cool fully.
Optional: Trim puff pastry edges to suit a 9×13-inch baking dish using a serrated knife.
Step 4: Whisk milk, cream, butter, vanilla, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles emerge around the edge before boiling.
Step 5: Whisk a flour-water slurry into the hot milk mixture and remove the pan from heat.
Step 6: While the saucepan is off the heat, stir egg yolks into the hot milk mixture to temper them.
Step 7: Bring to a boil. Whisk for 30-60 seconds until custard thickens.
Step 8: In the 9×13-inch baking dish, pour the thickened custard over the puff pastry. Top with a second piece of puff pastry. (Cut corners to fit dish) Press the pastry gently.
Step 9: Keep the baking dish in the fridge until the custard sets. About 3-4 hours.
Step 10: Sprinkle the bar with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the key to producing the perfect custard?
The key to making stirred custard is to cook it in a big pot over medium-low heat. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. If the custard becomes too hot, it will curdle, but if you stir it constantly, the heat will be distributed evenly.
In a custard, how many eggs should you use for how much cream?
As a rule of thumb, one egg and two tablespoons of sugar are added to every cup of milk (8 oz./250 ml) in a baked custard recipe.
Classic Vanilla Custard Bars
This tastes just like the treat we used to enjoy as kids!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
1 (16 ounces) package of store-bought puff pastry, 2 sheets, thawed
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
2/3 c. caster sugar, or superfine sugar
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
powdered sugar, as needed
6 egg yolks, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
Set the oven temperature to 350o and line two baking sheets and a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on each side.
Unroll puff pastry sheets and place them on baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper. Prick the dough all over with a fork, but don’t poke the bottom.
You can put parchment paper on top of each sheet of puff pastry and then put another baking sheet on top to act as a weight so the puff pastry doesn’t rise.
Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let cool down all the way.
Use a knife with serrated edges to trim the puff pastry so it fits in a 9×13-inch baking dish if needed. Put one puff pastry sheet.
Mix milk, cream, butter, vanilla, and sugar with a whisk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until small bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, but before it comes to a boil.
To make a slurry, mix flour and water together with a whisk. Then, whisk the slurry into the hot milk mixture and take the pan off the heat.
Whisk a little of the hot milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks to warm them up. Then, whisk the egg yolks into the rest of the mixture while the saucepan is still off the heat.
Put the pot back on the stove and bring it to a boil. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds, whisking constantly, or until the custard gets thick.
Pour the thickened custard over the puff pastry in a 9×13-inch baking dish, then place the second puff pastry sheet on top. (Cut the sides to fit the dish.) Press down gently so the pastry sticks.
Put the baking dish in the fridge until the custard is set. 3-4 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle powdered sugar on top, cut the cake, and serve.
How To Make it Gluten free
Use gluten-free puff pastries such as Jus Rol or Schar.
You can find a ton of gluten-free flour blends at the store. Or use cornflour, instead.
If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, use only pure vanilla extract or the ones tested and labeled as gluten-free.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 215
- Sugar: 18.5 g
- Sodium: 28.4 mg
- Fat: 12.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 22.7 g
- Protein: 3.4 g
- Cholesterol: 120 mg
Keywords: Classic Vanilla Custard Bars
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My name is Houria and I am the owner of nodashofgluten.com, a blog dedicated to all kinds of recipes. On my website, you can find classic dishes, vegetarian delights, creative snacks, Gluten-free recipes, and desserts – all proving that cooking isn’t as hard as it seems! With easy-to-follow instructions and tips on how to make your meals even better, I strive to help everyone become master chefs in their own kitchen. Come join me at nodashofgluten.com for some delicious fun!
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