Next week I will experience my first ever 4th of July, how exciting is that! Of course, in Europe we know about the fireworks, the picnics, the barbecues and spending time with your family on Independence Day. But to actually be here on the 4th of July is different.
In the Netherlands we also celebrate some national holidays but they don’t include fireworks or parades. The biggest national holiday would be Queens Day where everybody gets a day off and people go out on the streets, dressed in anything that they can find in orange, to sell their old junk and drink beer. And eat orange ‘tompoucen‘, normally the tompoucen have a pink icing but for Queens Day they get an orange icing.
A tompouce (also written as tompoes) is two layers of puff pastry filled with pastry cream. The top layer has a sweet icing. And to make it even better: sometimes it has a line of whipped cream on top of the icing.
I haven’t had a tompouce in ages but they are soooo delicious! No idea who came up with the puff pastry part though, because it’s quite hard to eat.
The way I handle a tompouce is to eat the cream at the edges with a small pastry fork, then lift off the top layer with my fingers, scraping off the cream that sticks to the top layer (eat it!) and put the top layer aside. Then I would eat the bottom layer with the cream and finally the top layer.
But my oh my… these tompouces are so yummy. And they are also much fun to make! For Independence Day I gave them a white icing and sprinkled them with red-white-blue sprinkles.
That soft and creamy thick cream, those crispy layers of puff pastry and the sweet thin layer of icing. I think I’m in love again with this typical Dutch treat!
Deliciously sweet Dutch treat, they look like custard slices but they're so much better! Two crispy layers of puff pastry filled with custard-like pastry cream and topped with sweet icing. Yummie!
- 2 cups of (soy) milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 4 egg yolks (save the egg whites for the icing!)
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 envelope gelatine (look for the Jello-O section at the store)
- 2 square sheets of puff pastry (9", from the freezer)
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of powdered sugar
- if desired, use some colorful sprinkles
- Get a sauce pan and add the milk.
- Slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise with a knife and scrape the seeds. Add the seeds to the milk and stir well.
- Add half of the sugar to the milk and bring to a boil.
- Whisk the other half of the sugar with the egg yolks in a bowl.
- Stir in the flour.
- Pour a dash of warm milk to the egg yolk mixture, mix well and put it all in the (soft) boiling milk.
- Bring back to a boil and let it softly boil for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the gas and stir the gelatine in (read the instructions for the gelatine on the package)
- Pour the creamy mixture in a square dish, cover with plastic and let it cool off in the fridge for 2-3 hours.
- In the meantime, start with the puff pastry: first let them thaw on the counter for about 30 minutes.
- Unfold them and prick them all over with a fork.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the pastry for 20 minutes while you press down the dough every 5 minutes with a clean towel. This prefends the dough to puff too much.
- After 20 minutes bring down the temperature to 300°F and bake another 10 minutes. You don't have to press down the pastry dough anymore.
- Take the pasty out the oven, cut each sheet in 16 equal squares (so 32 in total) while they're still hot and let them cool on a rack.
- Once cooled, start making the royal icing.
- In a large bowl combine the egg white with the vanilla extract until frothy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is shiny. Turn the speed up to high and beat until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This takes approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Pair the puff pastry squares in top and bottom layers and decorate the top squares with the icing. You can use a pastry bag, a storage bag (cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag) or a teaspoon for that. Decorate them with the sprinkles immediately.
- Now take the pastry cream out of the fridge, it should be a firm mixture.
- Transfer to a pastry bag or -again- use a storage bag with one of the corners cut out.
- Squirt the pastry cream on the bottom layer of the puff pastry. The cream layer should be around 0.7"-1" high.
- At last, transfer the top icing layer onto the cream layer and you're done.
They taste best when stored in the fridge overnight.