Mille Feuille with Berries

Mille Feuille with Berries on a white plate with greenery in the background

Mille Feuille with berries looks super impressive and time consuming, but in fact is quick and easy. If you can thaw some pastry, make a custard, and slice some strawberries you’re on your way to putting this magnificent looking dessert together.

The French term mille feuille (pronounced meel-foy) literally means a thousand leaves, referring to the razor thin layers of flaky puff pastry, although there isn’t really a thousand leaves!

ingredients to make Mille Feuille with Berries on a concrete table

The pastry is baked till golden brown and then filled with a delicious Creme Patissiere which is a luxurious, and easily made vanilla custard that is thick, and spreadable, rather than a pouring consistency. Click on the link above to watch us making creme patissiere.

Add to that strawberries and raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar and you could be trotting out of a little French patissiere in Paris with this stunning dessert.

easy to make

You begin by making the creme patissiere which will take you about 20 minutes. While the creme patissiere is chilling down in the fridge you bake the pastry which is as simple as taking squares of frozen pastry from the freezer and cutting in half.

cutting puff pastry to make Mille Feuille with Berries
cut the squares into equal rectangles, using a sharp knife so as not to compress the cut edge

Pop the pastry pieces onto a baking tray and use another baking tray (or frypan)  to lay on top of the pastry to keep it from rising. Bake the pastry till it’s a rich brown colour and then bump the oven temperature up.

Dust the pastry leaves with icing sugar and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the icing sugar caramelises. Remove pastry from oven and allow to cool.

laying uncooked pastry rectangles onto a baking sheet to cook for Mille Feuille with Berries
try to cut each pastry sheet the same size, after cooking you may need to trim the pastry if it has warped

While the pastry is cooling slice your strawberries if they’re large. We were able to get small strawberries so we used them whole. 

When you’re ready to assemble spread half of the creme patissiere onto a layer of pastry then add some strawberries and raspberries.

Next place a layer of pastry on the bench and cover with the remaining creme patissiere and berries and carefully lift that layer on top of the first layer. Lastly, pop the third layer of pastry onto the fruit and dust with icing sugar.

the pastry

We, (Jen, in particular) love to make our own pastry but in this case we’ve opted for store bought sheets of frozen pastry which are an absolute time saver and deliver a very good product. Look for a pastry that has been made with all butter rather than margarine as the flavour difference is remarkable. 

The sheets come in squares of approximately 22cm (9 inches) and take no time at all to thaw once removed from the freezer.

When cutting the pastry in two make sure not to drag your knife through the pastry, rather than making one clean cut otherwise the layers won’t rise and separate into the many razor thin layers that you want.

trimming the pastry sheets after cooking to make Mille Feuille with Berries
trim the pastry to ensure the three sheets are equal in size

We baked the pastry for 20 minutes in a hot oven for the initial cook which has a baking tray on top of the pastry to stop the pastry rising. The pastry is then removed from the oven, trimmed if needed. Bump the temperature up to 250c (480f)  and the pastry is given a good dusting of icing sugar.

dusting cooked sheets of pastry with icing sugar to make Mille Feuille with Berries
evenly dust the icing sugar over the cooked pastry – this ensures the sugar melts and caramelizes at the same rate

You do not need the top baking sheet or paper on for the second cook. Make sure that the icing sugar is sprinkled evenly so it melts at the same time. 

The tray is returned to the oven for about 5 minutes until the icing sugar caramelises. You need to watch this like a hawk as the sugar caramelises very quickly. This is not the time to take a phone call.

pastry sheets after glazing with icing sugar and baking to make Mille Feuille with Berries
after dusting with icing sugar place into a hot oven to melt and caramelize the sugar. DO NOT ANSWER THE PHONE! it will only end in tears

We particularly like how the dark and caramelised pastry marries with the sweet creme patissiere and layers the flavours.

If you like to make your own pastry for these mille feuilles why not try our tried and tested recipe for Quick and Easy Flaky Pastry, which is a little winner. 

making creme patissiere

 adding hot milk to egg mixture to make Mille Feuille with Berries
it’s important when adding the hot milk to the egg mixture that you whisk constantly

Creme patissiere is the same ingredient used to fill eclairs and profiteroles. It’s basically just a thicker delicious vanilla custard, that is very easily made. 

To make creme patissiere you whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour in a bowl.

Next you put the milk, cream, and vanilla into a medium sized pot and bring it just to the boil and then remove the pot from the heat.

Pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture whisking continuously, then return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat stirring continuously until the cream thickens and then cook for 2-3 minutes more to cook out the flour.

Strain the mixture into a bowl then beat in the butter until smooth.

adding butter to the creme patisserie to make Mille Feuille with Berries
add the butter and whisk until all of the butter has been incorporated

Cover the surface with clingfilm and chill in the fridge till set and ready to use.

making mille feuille with berries ahead of time

Cook the pastry and creme patissiere 3-4 days beforehand and simply assemble it on the day of serving. The pastry will tend to get a bit soggy if you fill it too far in advance of serving but you can definitely fill it the day before serving as the caramelised icing sugar on the pastry sort of ‘waterproofs’ the pastry. 

Watch How To Make Mille Feuille with Berries

 

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Scroll down for the mille feuille with berries recipe

 

Check out some more delicious and easy desserts with fruit

mango mousse with passionfruit

click on the link for the recipe…..Mango Mousse with Passionfruit

Apple Tarte Tatin

click on the link for the recipe…..Apple Tarte Tatin with Star Anise and Black Pepper

vanilla sponge cake with strawberries and cream

click on the link for the recipe…..Vanilla Sponge Cake with Strawberries and Cream

easy crustless lemon tart

click on the link for the recipe…..Easy Crustless Lemon Tart

We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make this stunning Mille Feuille with Berries dessert.

 

Mille Feuille with Berries

Yield: serves 6

Mille Feuille with Berries

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Light as a feather pastry baked till golden and filled with a rich vanilla custard sandwiched with raspberries and strawberries.

Impressive looking but quick and very achievable using store bought pastry.

Ingredients

  • 3 x 1/2 square sheets frozen butter puff pastry
  • 300ml (10 fl ounces) whole full cream milk
  • 200ml (6 3/4 fl ounces) pure cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 5 large egg yolks (90g or 3 and a bit ounces)
  • 50g 1 3/4 ounces) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) caster sugar
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 250gm (9 ounce) punnet of strawberries
  • 1 250gm (9 ounce) punnet of raspberries
  • icing sugar to dust pastry

Instructions

  1. make the creme patissiere - Click here for the creme patissiere recipe and video whisk egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour together in a medium sized bowl
  1. pour the milk, cream and vanilla into a saucepan and bring just to the boil, then remove the pan from the heat
  2. pour the hot milk mixture over the egg mixture whisking continuously
  3. return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring continuously until the cream thickens and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stirring to cook out the flour
  4. remove from the heat and pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl
  5. beat in the butter till smooth
  6. cover with clingfilm pressed against the creme and leave to cool, then refrigerate till chilled
  7. cooking the pastry - preheat oven to 200c (390f) on fan or 220c (425f) on bake
  8. place pastry on a baking sheet lined with baking paper
  9. place another sheet of baking paper over the pastry and then place a second baking sheet over the pastry (this is to stop the pastry rising)
  10. bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  11. remove pastry from oven and discard the top baking sheet and baking paper
  12. turn the oven up to 250c (480f)
  13. evenly dust each pastry sheet with icing sugar
  14. return the pastry to oven and bake for 5 minutes till the icing sugar has caramelised (you need to watch this like a hawk as it caramelises quickly)
  15. remove pastry from oven and allow to cool
  16. assembling the mille feuille - assemble the mille feuille on the plate you wish to serve it on
  17. place 4 small dollops of the creme patisserie onto the base of the bottom pastry sheet to help hold it in place
  18. spread half of the creme patisserie on the layer of pastry and place half of the berries on top of the creme patissiere
  19. on the bench, spread the remaining half of the creme patissiere onto the second pastry sheet and place the remaining berries on top then lift that layer onto the first layer ( this prevents adding any undue pressure to the base and causing the creme patissiere to ooze out)
  20. place last sheet of pastry on top and dust with icing sugar
  21. refrigerate until ready to serve
  22. enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 281Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 163mgSodium 116mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 1gSugar 25gProtein 5g

Nutritional information provided here is only intended as a guide.

 

 

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