Makes 16 (2-inch) squares
2¼ cups (281 grams) all-purpose fl our
2½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) kosher salt, divided
1¼ cups (284 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ cup (120 grams) ice cold water
4 cups (960 grams) whole milk
1⅓ cups (266 grams) granulated sugar, divided
2 Heilala Vanilla Beans, split lengthwise,
seeds scraped and reserved
10 large egg yolks (186 grams)
½ cup (64 grams) cornstarch
¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place
fl our and 2 teaspoons (6 grams) salt; pulse until
combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until
butter is dime-size. With processor running,
add ½ cup (120 grams) ice cold water in a slow,
steady stream just until dough comes together.
Turn out dough onto a lightly fl oured surface,
and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and
refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide dough in half (about 342 grams each).
Roll half of dough into a 12x8-inch rectangle.
Fold dough in thirds, like a letter. Turn dough
90 degrees, and repeat procedure twice; wrap
in plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining dough.
Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a
rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll half of dough to an 11x10-inch rectangle
(⅛ inch thick). Place on prepared pan. Cover with
another piece of parchment, and place another
rimmed baking sheet on top of dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Press down on middle of
top pan to release some of the air from the pastry.
Bake until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes
more, pressing down again halfway through
baking. Press down on pan again. Remove top
pan and parchment; let cool completely on pan.
Repeat with remaining dough.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together milk,
⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar, and vanilla
beans and seeds. Cook over medium heat until
steaming. Discard vanilla beans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks,
cornstarch, remaining ⅔ cup (133 grams)
granulated sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon
(1.5 grams) salt. Gradually add warm milk
mixture to yolk mixture, whisking constantly.
Return mixture to saucepan. Bring to a boil over
medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook, stirring
constantly, for 3 minutes. (Mixture will be thick
with a pudding-like consistency.) Strain mixture
through a fi ne-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Stir
in softened butter in two additions. Cover with a
piece of plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly onto
surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from
forming. Let stand at room temperature for
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with
parchment paper, letting excess extend over
sides of pan. Cut each pastry into an 8-inch
square, trimming as needed to fi t. Place
1 pastry square in bottom of prepared pan. Pour
warm pastry cream on top, smoothing fl at, and
top with remaining pastry square. Cover and
refrigerate until set, 3 to 4 hours.
- Using excess parchment as handles, remove
from pan. Using a serrated knife, cut into
16 (2-inch) squares. Dust with confectioners’
sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.