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Vanilla Slice


There used to be a grocery store in Clearbrook called Funk's that had the most wonderful bakery.  I would go there to pick up hot dog buns for hotdog sales at the boys' school.  While I would be there, I would buy myself a piece of Vanilla Slice and savour every bite. The crisp layers and the creamy fillings were my absolute favourite bakery treat. Now I make  a version of it myself and it is still my favourite texture and flavour combination. 
  • 1 397 gram / 14-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package instructions  (I use Tenderflake) 
Pastry Cream
  • 1 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 package Dr Oetker whipping cream stabilizer or 1 tablespoon vanilla instant pudding
Icing
  • 1 cup icing/powdered sugar
  • heavy cream 
Garnish
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the pastry into 3 even rectangles, measuring approximately 4 X 8 cutting around all the edges to make clean edges.  
  3. Place pastry on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Prick the pastry with a fork.  Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the pastry and add a cookie cooling rack on top to add weight so that it bakes evenly and stays level.
  4. Bake 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp all the way through. Cool for a minute and then split each piece in half (should be easy to split with all the layers) to make 6 pieces of pastry. Return to the oven with the insides of the pastry face up for 2 - 3 minutes to crisp.
  5. In a medium pot, (or microwave safe bowl)  whisk egg yolks with the cornstarch sugar and milk until smooth.  
  6. Bring to a simmer stirring the whole time.  (or cook in the microwave stirring every minute) As soon as it comes to a light boil, pour through a strainer to remove any lumps and add butter and vanilla.  Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill until room temperature.
  7. Place two pastries on a tray and begin assembling.
  8. Divide the cold pastry cream between two pastry pieces.
  9. Cover with another piece of pastry on each of the two pieces.
  10. Whip cream with sugar, vanilla and stabilizer.  Gently spread whipped cream on top of the pastry.
  11. Top with the final pieces of pastry.
  12. Stir together icing/powdered sugar with heavy cream to make a smooth and spreadable icing.
  13. Spread the icing on the top layer of pastry.
  14. Heat the 1/2 cup whipping cream, stir in chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Pour into a piping bag.  Cut a small hole into the tip of the bag.
  15. Drizzle chocolate onto the icing and drag a toothpick through to make a design.  
  16. Chill vanilla slice for a few hours before slicing.
Tips
  • It doesn't matter what shape you roll out your pastry, as long as you begin with three even-sized pieces that can be split in half horizontally.   I make mine the shape of the plate I want to serve it on. 
  • Slice with an electric knife if possible or very gently with a very sharp serrated knife. 
  • Each pastry cuts into about 8 pieces.  
  • Do not freeze.  Custard does not freeze well.
  • The dessert will be best within 12 hours. 

6 comments:

  1. My grandma used to live down the street from Funks. There used to be a row of identical little houses on the same side of the street.
    I remember she always had special candy at xmas time that you could only get at Funks.

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    Replies
    1. Yes! We bought those there too... There were the fish candies that were peanut butter and something and then the Cow candies, creamy.

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  2. I'd sure love a slice of that! I loved shopping at Funks when they were there.

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  3. That was our wedding dessert, Robs favorite! I think I’ll make this for Valentine’s Day.

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  4. Looks very yummy!! I want some now!

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  5. What a nice memory of a favourite store. Made me think of some of the little stores that used to be in our neighbourhood too. That dessert looks so good - it would be awesome for Easter.

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