A passion for fruit

Passionfruit vanilla slice

Don’t you sometimes wonder after making something for the first time, after years of buying the item in a shop, how you put up with its industrial, mass produced appearance and flavour (or lack of). I had this feeling when I made a passionfruit vanilla slice. The proverbial vanilla slice, normally sans passionfruit, can be found in most bakeries and cafes around Australia. Some of the ones I’ve seen or bought have had varying levels of yellow food colouring and custard consistency, a few to the point of scariness. For obvious reasons, I avoid slices that have layers of custard that look like lurid yellow UHU gluestick sandwiched in between pastry.

I found a recipe in a magazine for a passionfruit vanilla slice that looked reasonably easy, but it was the picture that won me over (as is usually the case) – a luscious slab of slice heaven, topped with an icing dripping over the edges. The addition of passionfruit was another plus, jazzing up the plain vanilla slice that I was accustomed to.

Passionfruit vanilla slice
adapted from Gourmet Traveller, March 2007
serves 6-8

2 sheets puff pastry

Passionfruit vanilla custard
150 gm (1/4 cup) caster sugar
100 gm (2/3 cup) cornflour
810 ml (3 1/4 cups) milk
125 ml (1/2 cup) passionfruit juice (see note below)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
2 egg yolks
40 gm butter, softened

Passionfruit icing
150 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
pulp of 2 passionfruit

Note: To make passionfruit juice, blend passionfruit pulp in a food processor to crack seeds. Strain through a fine sieve. To get 1 cup of juice, you will need about 12 passionfruit.

Preheat oven to 200° C. Trim each to 18cm square, prick all over with a fork and bake for 15 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool on a wire rack, then halve each sheet horizontally with a serrated knife to give four squares.

For the custard, combine the sugar and cornflour in a saucepan. Over medium heat, add milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth. Add juice and vanilla seeds. Bring just to the boil, stir continuously with a wooden spoon until smooth and thick. Makes sure you get into those corners. Remove from heat and whisk in yolks and butter. Set aside.

Line an 18cm square cake pan with baking paper. Place a piece of pastry at the bottom and pour over a third of the custard. Level and top with another piece of pastry. Repeat with remaining custard and pastry. Chill until set.

For icing, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix. Spread over slice and serve.

Eating notes: The only problem I found – difficulty in biting through the pastry and the custard oozing out through the sides. The only thing I could think of is to make sure next time that the puff pastry was cooked longer and dried out more. It was obviously the layers inside each piece which was still a bit chewy and hence, hard to bite (and cut) through. But flavour wise, no problems, AT ALL. This was delicious.

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12 Responses to “A passion for fruit”

  1. 1 Patricia Scarpin April 17, 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Steven, this is heavenly!
    I’ve seen a vanilla slice recipe in Donna Hay’s “Modern Classics 2” and it look delicious – but yours, with passion fruit, won my heart.

  2. 2 Freya April 18, 2007 at 1:03 pm

    Doesn’t it seem like passion fruit makes almost any dessert better? Your vanilla slice looks heavenly!

  3. 3 madchilli April 18, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    Patricia: The passionfruit definitely adds that extra dimension to a plain vanilla slice!

    Freya: The same could be said of vanilla. So the two together in the one dessert must be good!

  4. 5 ilingc April 23, 2007 at 2:28 am

    Hi Steven,
    Thank you for visiting my blog a while back. Must admit that I’ve always lurked about but never really left a comment and was quite surprised that you discovered mine. Sorry I took so long to delurk.

    I’m usually not a big fan of vanilla slices particularly those with the extremely yellow custard. Somehow I feel like I would be sinking my teeth into playdough or something. This passionfruit vanilla slice has perked me interest. Will take your notes into consideration when I try it out. 🙂

  5. 6 madchilli April 24, 2007 at 4:13 am

    Yeah, those vivid yellow custards are such a turn off for me, along with the glue like consistency. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. 7 Susan de Courcy May 29, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Do you think vanilla slice is the same as what we call, at lest in Quebec, a millefeuille? It looks similar except for the icing. Your photos are beautiful!

  7. 8 Kim November 2, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Yes, and in the Netherlands we call it tompouce or tompoes.

  8. 9 Julie November 12, 2007 at 8:18 pm

    Congratulations, I think we are all our own worst critics. You have a wonderful blog, the food looks and sounds delicious.

  9. 11 Dave Jones June 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    I’m visiting ur blog first..that vanilla slice sounds delicious.

  10. 12 John June 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    It looks very goods
    I’ll definitely to come back to your blog again.

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