Matchsticks

Ingredients

1/2 quantity of Fabulous Flaky Pastry or Flaky Pastry   

Custard

150 g Thickened cream

300 g Milk (full fat)

30 g Maize starch

90 g Sugar

3 Whole eggs (total weight 170 g)

1 Egg yolk (total weight 23 g)

10 g Vanilla essence

1 Vanilla bean

25 g Butter

Red layer

~80 g Frozen raspberries

extra icing sugar for dusting

Sugar: The custard recipe above is similar to the one for the Vanilla slice however I have increased the overall amount of sugar. The extra sugar is needed to balance out the red layer of the matchstick as it is unsweetened raspberry puree.

Eggs: Normally I will use 700 g/dozen sized eggs & the size of the eggs makes a huge difference to whether the custard will set or not. However I only had 800 g/dozen left in the fridge & used those. For those of you with your own fresh supply of eggs use the number of grams of eggs as your guide.  

Method

Make the flaky pastry according to the method described for Fabulous Flaky Pastry or Flaky Pastry until it is ready to be rolled out for use. I used Fabulous Flaky Pastry for the Matchsticks pictured above.  

Turn oven on to 210 - 220 C.

Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cut another piece of baking paper.

I used 3 round pastry cutters to cut out the dough & custard for the Matchsticks. The cutters were 68 mm (2 5/8 inch), 78 mm (3 1/16 inch) & 88 mm (3 7/16 inch). The smallest cutter is used on the custard, the largest is the top of the Matchstick & the middle sized cutter is the base. The cutters I have are reversible, I use patterned side for the pastry & the plain side for the custard. When I make these again I will decrease the size of the cutters to make it easier to handle the cut custard.  

Roll out the pastry to a thickness ~2 - 3 mm. To ensure the dough is an even thickness follow this tip. Find 2 pieces of cardboard (I use ones that are 2-3 mm thick) place one on either side of the dough. When rolling out the dough ensure the rolling pin is wide enough to span the dough and part of the top of the cardboard. My rolling pin is large – 61 cm from handle to handle. If your rolling pin is smaller it may be easy to half the dough. Initially when rolling the pin may not necessarily rest on the cardboard, however, when the dough is the same thickness as the cardboard it will. At this stage the dough should be all the same thickness. 

Cut out tops & bases. Transfer tops to one baking tray & the bases to the other. 

Keep the pastry off cuts. Lay the scraps flat on top of each other & fold over. Roll out the pastry as you normally would making sure that the thickness of the pastry is the same as the first time it was rolled out. Cut out more shapes. It is up to you whether to roll out the pastry scraps again. The rerolled pastry is slightly different but it is still flaky. 

Cover the pastry for the bases with another piece of baking paper & put another baking tray on top. Putting the tray on top helps to keep the pastry flat. Regardless of whether it is a top or base the pastry will shrink a little during cooking but the tops will puff up & end up being ~ the same size as the bases.

The photo above is flaky pastry that has been rerolled three times.

Bake the pastry at ~210 - 220 C for 10 - 15 mins. The time & temperature will depend on your oven & the size of your pastry disks. If your oven struggles to get to temperature bake the pastry for slightly longer.

Take the top tray off the baked pastry & allow the pastry to cool.

Making the custard

Line a tray with non-stick paper & have a bit hanging over the sides. Put plastic clingwrap over the paper (it makes it easier to get the custard out). The tray I used was a slice tray 30 cm x 20.5 cm. 

Put the cream & milk together in a container.

Split the vanilla bean with a sharp knife along its length.

Gently scrape out the seeds & put them into the milk. I put the pod into the milk/cream & get my daughter to get the seeds out.

Thermomix

Put ingredients into the TM bowl apart from the butter.

Cook at 90 C for 10 mins at speed 4. 

Add butter & mix for 15 sec at speed 4.

While the custard is still hot, pour it in the tray.

Put a layer of plastic clingwrap on top of the custard. 

Set aside to cool.

When it is cool enough put the tray into the fridge.

Stove Top

On the stove top the custard can be made in a saucepan or in a double boiler. There is more control of the temperature in a double boiler & the custard is usually very smooth. If making the custard in a saucepan have on hand a stab blender. If the custard is lumpy blitz it with the stab blender.  

Set aside the butter.

Mix a little of the cream/milk with the maize starch to make a paste in the saucepan or top of a double boiler.

Add the remaining cream/milk, sugar, vanilla essence, eggs (whole & yolks). 

Stir over low/medium heat until it starts to thicken. Turn off the heat or lower the heat & stir the custard at this temperature for ~4 mins. 

Add the butter & stir it in.

While the custard is still hot, pour it into the tray. 

Put a layer of plastic clingwrap on top of the custard. 

Set aside to cool. When it has cooled sufficiently transfer the tray to a fridge. 

Red layer

Thaw the raspberries. Mash the raspberries with a fork, put the mash through a sieve and collect the puree.

I use the raspberry puree unsweetened. If you think it may need sugar, completely assemble one of the Matchsticks first & try it. 

Assembling the Matchsticks

Bring the custard out of the fridge. Using the overlapping non-stick paper as a handle on both sides of the tray pull out the custard block. Take off the top layer of plastic clingwrap.

Cut shapes into the custard with the smallest of the trio of pastry cutters. Cut the shapes as close together as you can & leave them in the custard block.

It is easy to assemble the Matchsticks on the baking tray.

Put the tray with the bases on it close to the custard block.

Carefully peel off some of the custard from around the cut shape. The next move is to transfer the custard shape to the top of the pastry base. I used a pallette knife but I think a small egg flip would work as well. Gently lift the custard shape off the bottom piece of plastic clingwrap using a pallette knife/egg flip/cake slicer and transfer to the pastry base. I haven't done the following but it might possibly work. Lift the custard up a little, put one of the pastry bases on top of the custard & then flip the whole thing over & put it back on the tray. 

Repeat with the rest of the custard shapes. Save the left over custard scraps. 

Spoon some of the raspberry puree on to the custard & smooth it over to completely cover the custard.

The last thing to do is put the top piece of pastry on & dust them with icing sugar. I prefer to delay this step until I am just about to serve them - the top pastry stays crisp (I love them this way).

I made 8 Matchsticks out of this mix but had another 4 pastry tops & bases. The number made will depend on the size of the cutters you use, the size of the tray used to set the custard (& whether you have done any taste testing along the way). 

Wondering what to do with the left over custard scraps? Put the scraps in a small container & blitz it with a stab blender. The custard will become smooth & you should be able to pour it. There are a lot of things you can do with this custard for example it can be reheated & served as creme anglaise with poached fruit or fold it through whipped cream & use it to fill profiteroles.