We’ve all seen the cases filled with sad fruit tarts, stale cupcakes and cakes that are a bit past their prime. I decided to give a classic custard fruit tart a face lift and turn it into the boujee french dessert called mille-feuille (pronounced meal foyyy, for all of the non-French speakers like myself). It’s got beautiful layers of crisp, buttery cookie, soft and creamy vanilla mousse and a bright, tart berry coulis!
Mille-feuille with Vanilla Mousse and Berry Coulis
- 1 12-inch fruit tart
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup heavy cream very cold
- First, disassemble the tart. Pick fruit off and place in a small sauce pot, then use a rubber spatula to scoop custard into a large mixing bowl and place in refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Use clean hands to break crust into 2-3 inch chunks and place in a food processor. Process on high to a fine crumb, 1-2 minutes. Add salt and pulse 2-3 times to combine. Add butter and process on low until well combined, about a minute.
- Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and use hands or a spatula to press into a thin rectangle, about 8×10 inches. Place a second sheet of parchment on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to compress the dough well. Remove parchment and press and tidy edges with hands. The final rectangle should be 8×10 inches and about ¼ inch thick.
- Use a long, sharp knife to precut 8 cookies. First, trim edges to make a perfect 6×8 inch rectangle with the long side nearest you. (Keep trimmings; they will form the final, 9th cookie.) Next, cut dough into 8 equal 1 ½ x 4 inch rectangles. Our preferred method is to cut the dough in half horizontally first. Next, cut the dough in quarters vertically by cutting it in half, and then cutting each of those halves in half once more.
- Spread the dough out so that there is at least an inch of space between each cookie. Take the trimmings from earlier and press into a final, 9th cookie to match the rest. Trim sides if needed.
- Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are barely golden. Set aside to cool.
- While cookies are baking, make the coulis. Cook fruit over medium heat, stirring often, until fruit begin to soften and release juices, about 5 minutes. Use a whisk to mash fruit and continue cooking until very soft and juices begin to thicken, another 5-10 minutes.
- Place fruit in a high-speed blender and blend on high until very smooth.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Pour blended fruit through and use a rubber spatula to stir and scrape over sieve until only seeds and pulp remain.
- Place coulis in refrigerator until cooled and thickened, about an hour.
- Once cookies and coulis are cool, make vanilla mousse.
- Add heavy cream to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or a large bowl and a hand mixer with a whisk attachment) and whisk on medium high just until very stiff peaks form. Remove custard from refrigerator, and add half of the whipped cream. Use a rubber spatula to fold whipped cream into custard until just a few streaks of cream remain. Add remaining whipped cream and fold until just combined.
- To assemble, transfer mousse and coulis to piping bags or plastic zip top bags with ½ inch and ¼ inch piping tips or openings.
- Pipe a thick layer of custard onto a cookie followed by a thin, even layer of coulis. Stack a cookie on top and repeat until you have three cookies topped with both fillings. Style final custard and coulis layers aesthetically if desired. Repeat with remaining cookies. Serve immediately.