Sophisticated meets doable in this party go-to, a thick layer of creamy custard between two flaky sheets of homemade puff pastry. Dress it up with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Find more ways to bake in your 9×13 pan in our July/August Issue, here

Orange Custard Bars
 
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients
  • Buttery Puff Pastry (recipe follows)
  • 3½ cups (840 grams) plus 4 tablespoons (60 grams) heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1½ cups (300 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup (96 grams) cornstarch
  • 3½ cups (840 grams) whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks (112 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (2 grams) orange zest
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) orange liqueur
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll half of Buttery Puff Pastry into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Place on a large jelly-roll pan. Brush with 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar. Top with parchment paper, and place another large jelly-roll pan on top of pastry.
  3. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes, pressing down on middle of top pan halfway through baking to release air from pastry. Remove from oven, and press down on pan again. Remove top pan and parchment paper; let cool completely on pan. Repeat with remaining Buttery Puff Pastry, 2 tablespoons (30 grams) cream, and 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar.
  4. In a large saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and remaining 1½ cups (300 grams) granulated sugar. Add milk and remaining 3½ cups (840 grams) cream, whisking until smooth. Bring to a low boil over medium heat.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and zest. Gradually add 2 cups hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk egg mixture into remaining hot milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat; whisk in butter, orange liqueur, and salt. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  6. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Using a pastry cutter, cut pastry sheets into 9x13-inch rectangles. Place one pastry sheet in prepared pan. Pour custard over top, and cover with remaining pastry sheet, pressing down gently. Refrigerate until set, 3 to 4 hours.
  7. To serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Using a serrated knife, gently cut into squares.

Buttery Puff Pastry
 
Makes 2 (16x12-inch) sheets
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 2½ cups (567 grams) cold European-style unsalted butter,* cubed
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) cold water
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat flour and salt at low speed to combine. Add butter, and beat until butter is coated with flour, about 30 seconds. With mixer running, add ¾ cup (180 grams) cold water in a slow, steady stream just until dough comes together, about 1 minute (there will still be large pieces of butter). Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x11-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds, like a letter. Rotate dough 90 degrees, and fold into thirds again. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Divide dough in half, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Notes
We used Plugrá.

 

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