Coconut Custard Slices

I hate this random weather. It looks sunny but it's freezing, and then it snows! Out of nowhere! I've felt really restless this week, I have plenty to do but I can't focus on anything but pinterest. On the plus side I have thought up some awesome recipes for next week. My favourite time for thinking up combinations is when I'm swimming. If I get my breathing right then I can free up my brain to think about other things. 50 lengths seemed to fly by on Wednesday when I was dreaming up new coconut oil recipes.
 
I can't leave coconut alone at the moment. It's so versatile and one of those ingredients that makes me feel really excited about food. I love the possibilities there are when coconut is involved. It's a fantastic replacement for oil and butter. I've got some coconut chips coming in the post which I can't wait to toast.
 
Nick loves custard slices. I do too for that matter. He will always pick one up as a treat if it's on the reduced shelf in the supermarket. I remember eating them as a child whenever we visited my great grandma. My sister would deconstruct hers, taking it apart and eating it in stages. I feel such a sense of comfort when faced with a custard slice.
 
With my love of coconut in mind I saw no reason why I couldn't make crème pâtissière with coconut milk instead of regular milk or cream. It worked. The consistency is exactly the same but the taste is wonderful. The subtle coconut flavour peeks through and just makes a regular custard slice even better. I will admit that I used shop bought puff pastry to make these. If I'm going to the effort to make crème pâtissière and assemble the slices I'm going to make my life easier by buying ready made puff pastry. It doesn't make it a lesser custard slice at all. These taste glorious. Such luxury has never been found in a humble custard slice before.
 
Coconut Custard Slices
 
1x pack ready made puff pastry
 
For the crème pâtissière:
600ml full fat coconut milk
vanilla pod
4 eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
180g caster sugar
100g corn flour
150g butter, cut into cubes and kept at room temperature
 
For the icing:
200g icing sugar
25ml water
handful of desiccated coconut
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C/400 F. Cut the puff pastry to the size of your baking tray. Make sure you have enough pastry for a top and bottom. Lay on a flat baking tray and prick all over with a fork. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove and let cool whilst you get on with the filling.
  2. Pour the coconut milk into a wide based pan, split the vanilla pod, scrape out seeds and add the pod and seeds to the milk. Bring the milk up to the boil, then take it off the heat.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and corn flour in a medium sized bowl until smooth.
  4. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk and pour the hot milk through a sieve into the egg mixture. Whisk to combine and pour the custard back into a clean saucepan and set over a medium heat.
  5. Stir the custard constantly until the mixture thickens. The mixture will take about four minutes to thicken, but when it does it happens very quickly, so you need to really keep stirring to prevent lumps. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Cook the mixture until it is very thick, remove from the heat and stir in the cubes of butter until smooth. Transfer to a shallow dish and let cool in the fridge until cool but still pliable. This should take around 20-30 minutes.
  7. To assemble, line your baking tin with greaseproof paper and lay one of the puff pastry slices in the bottom. Smooth the crème pâtissière over the pastry, levelling out on top with a palette knife. Place the other puff pastry slice on top and press down lightly.
  8. Mix together the icing sugar and water until smooth and pour on top of the pastry. Sprinkle as much or as little of the desiccated coconut on top and chill in the fridge until firm before slicing into, well, slices.