This is my twist on everyone’s childhood favourite the custard square (or Vanilla slice if you are Australian). I have cheated and used store bought pastry but let’s face it who has the time or paitence to make their own and especially when there are some really good versions now available. The twist for this slice is I have infused the milk with Chai tea, but you could take this concept and let you immagination and tastebuds run wild!
Store bought ready rolled flaky pastry
1 Tablespoons loose leaf chai tea*
300 mls milk
150 mls cream
2 egg yolks
2/3 cups sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* If you can’t find loose leaf chai tea you can make your own by mixing 2 tspns of good quality loose leaf black tea, 1 cinnamon quill, 2 cardamon pods (crushed), 4 peppercorns, 1/4 tspn ground ginger and 1/4 tspn nutmeg (preferably freshly grated). This is just my combination you can create your own to suit your tastes.
Firstly bake the pastry. Measure the ready rolled pastry into two equal sized pieces. Use the dish you will be setting the custard slice in as your guide. I used a loaf tin which creates a quite deep custard slice; alternatively a square cake tin works well. Line an oven tray with baking paper and place the measured pastry sheets on it. Prick the pastry with a fork and then cover with another layer of baking paper. Weigh the pastry down with an oven tray on top which will stop the pastry from puffing up. Bake at 180 degreeC for 20 minutes. Take the oven tray and top layer of baking paper off, dust with a thick layer of icing sugar and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Put the pastry on a cooling rack to cool while you make the custard.
For the custard put the cream, milk and chai in a pot and carefully heat up. You don’t want it to boil! While the milk is heating whisk the eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla together until pale and thick. Add the flour and whisk till smooth. Carefully sieve the chai infused milk mixture into the beaten egg mix and whisk. Return the now combined milk and egg mixture to the pot. Stir constantly over a low heat, preferably with a whisk until very thick.
Line your dish with baking paper making sure the paper comes right up the sides. Place one piece of the cooked pastry on the bottom, pour over the custard and top with the other piece pastry. Place in the fridge to set then ice.
To serve slice with a heated serrated knife.