For the crème pâtissière: Add the corn flour to a mixing bowl. Pour a small amount of milk into the bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the yolks and half the sugar. Whisk to gather by hand until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside. Pour the rest of the milk and the rest of the sugar into a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Take the milk from the heat as soon as tiny bubbles start to appear around the edge of the saucepan. Drizzle the warm mixture onto the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Now pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place on a medium-low heat. Stir continuously until the mixture is thick and smooth. Allow to cook for 30 seconds before removing from the heat. Add the vanilla and stir through. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface and allow to cool completely.
Preheat your oven to 200℃ and line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Unroll the pastry sheet and cut it into 4 equal rectangles (cut through lengthwise and then halve each strip). Place the rectangles on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly apart. Place another sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry and then place another baking sheet on top of that. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Assembly: Whisk your room temperature crème pâtissière by hand until it is smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large (1,5/2cm) nozzle. Lay a pastry sheet on a serving plate and pipe dollops over the entire sheet. Repeat until you have one pastry sheet left. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add a tablespoon of milk. Stir the mixture, adding a few drops more until you have a very thick paste. Spread the icing paste on the pastry sheet and set aside to dry. Place the iced pastry on top of the custard slice. Slice into portions once you have displayed your beautiful creation.
This is one of my favourite French desserts and really easy to make. Make the crêpes the day before you need them and simply reheat them in the orange-caramel-syrup before serving.
Crêpes: 750ml cake flour 2,5ml baking powder 5ml salt 500ml milk 250ml water 125ml sunflower oil 4 eggs
Orange sauce: 45ml caster sugar 250ml orange juice the zest of one orange 5ml lemon juice 15ml brandy 50g butter, cubed
For the crêpes: Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Whisk the milk, water, oil and eggs together in a separate wide-mouthed jug. Turn the mixer on to a low speed and add the liquid ingredients in a very thin stream. Keep whisking and pouring until all the liquid has been added. Turn the mixer on to a higher speed and whisk for at least two minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 1 hour. Heat a crêpe pan/frying pan until hot. Add a small amount of vegetable oil and swirl it around the pan. Pour the oil out and put the pan back onto a medium-high heat. Spoon a ladle-full of the batter into the pan and cook until small holes appear over the entire surface of the crêpe. Flip the crêpe and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Slide the cooked crêpe onto a plate and continue baking the rest.
For the orange sauce: Tip the caster sugar into a non-stick frying pan on medium to low heat. Allow the sugar to melt without stirring it. You want the sugar to turn a caramel colour without burning it – watch it like a hawk and do not walk away from it! Take the pan from the heat when the sugar is brown enough and add the orange juice, orange zest, lemon juice and brandy. Return the pan to a very low heat. Do not panic if the sugar has seized, continue heating over a low heat and stir lightly until the sugar has dissolved completely. Now start adding the butter, one or two cubes at a time while stirring constantly. Keep going until you have incorporated all the butter. Bring the mixture to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly and has a lovely gloss to it.
Fold each crêpe into half, and then fold it again so that you have a more-or-less triangular shape. Gently slide the folded crêpe into the pan and spoon the sauce over it. Serve immediately.