Lemon Mille Feuille made with subtle lemon pastry cream, lemon curd and fresh whipped cream. Recipe and photo by Bernice Baran of Baran Bakery blog.
- 6 sheets Athens Phyllo® Dough (9″ x 14″), thawed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons)
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
Lemon Pastry Cream:
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/2 medium lemon, juice and zest
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 large egg white, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Edible gold leaf foil (optional, for garnish)
Thaw 1 roll of phyllo, following thawing instructions on package.
Combine all the ingredients for the lemon curd in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk continuously until it thickens, about 5 minutes. The curd should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. While it’s still hot, press the curd through a sieve into another bowl/jar, cover it and allow it to cool completely to room temperature.*
Next for the pastry cream in a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest. Whisk them together until the mixture is smooth, then set aside.
In a medium saucepan, over low-medium heat, bring the milk and butter to a simmer and then slowly stream the milk over the egg mixture, while whisking continuously. Return the whole mixture to the pot and over low-medium heat, whisk continuously for a few minutes until you see the first bubble pop. After the first bubble pops, whisk for one more minute and then remove the pastry cream from the heat. Pour it through a sieve into a bowl and stir in the vanilla bean paste.
Cover the surface of the pastry cream with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30-60 minutes until it firms up.
Preheat the oven to 375℉ and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Unroll and cover phyllo sheets with plastic wrap, then a slightly damp towel to prevent drying out. Place the first sheet of phyllo on the cookie sheet, brush the top with melted butter, layer the next sheet and repeat until you place your last sheet on top.
Lightly beat an egg white with a fork and brush the top layer with the egg white. Use a pizza cutter to cut the sheets in half lengthwise. Then cut each half horizontally into 8 equal sized rectangles for a total of 16 rectangles. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown, then let them cool completely.
Once everything has cooled, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar and cream of tartar. Add in a few tablespoons of the cream and vanilla and whisk until it’s combined. Then add the rest of the cream in and beat at high speed with an electric mixer, until it’s fluffy and just barely holds stiff peaks.
If you over-whip the cream, add another tablespoon of heavy whipped cream and mix until combined.
For assembly place the first layer of phyllo sheets on a flat surface. Use a piping bag to pipe little round poofs of pastry cream onto the first layer. Use another piping bag with a smaller round tip to pipe little dots of lemon curd on top of the pastry cream. Place the second layer of phyllo dough on top and gently press down so it sticks. Repeat with the next layer and then use another piping tip to pipe some fresh whipped cream on the top layer. Pipe a little more lemon curd on top and top with gold foil.
Repeat with the other layers. You should get 5 mille feuilles from this with one leftover layer of phyllo.** Refrigerate them for 1-2 hours until they set.
*You won’t need to use the entire recipe, so cover what is leftover and store it in the refrigerator. You can also use a store bought lemon curd.
**If you triple the recipe, you’ll get 16 mille feuilles instead of 15 because each one will have a leftover phyllo layer.
Edible gold leaf foil can be purchased from most bakery supply stores and online.