Milk tart pancake mille-feuille is a deliciously creamy mouthful that sounds fancy but is shamefully simple. Mille-feuille refers to the multiple layers of buttery puff pastry usually filled with cream and perhaps fresh berries, but we’re keeping things local for the month of May. The layers consist of South African staple, pancakes or pannekoek, if you will. No school fete or market worth its salt, is complete without a pancake stand.
The inspiration for this milk tart pancake mille-feuille came from several sources. The first is based on food from my childhood, a kind of homage to my mum for Mother’s Day. Then, after paging through The South African Milktart collection, by Mari-Louis Guy and Callie Maritz, I craved the familiar taste once more. The final push came from UK food glossy, Olive. A trendy matcha mille-feuille cake caught my eye and so this is the result.
The batter is made with the same basic recipe used in this chicken a la king filled pancake post. To it I’ve added ground cinnamon and castor sugar for a touch of sweetness. Layered between the pancakes is a milk tart custard enriched with whipped cream. A generous scattering of cinnamon sugar between each layer adds texture, flavour and crunch. It’s finished off with pillowy-soft whipped cream and a final dredging of cinnamon sugar.
To make the mille-feuille cake stack, I’ve tripled the recipe. It makes slightly more pancakes you need, but when were too many pancakes a problem?! Making pancakes is hardly challenging, just time consuming. Once layered up, chill the stack for about an hour. It makes slicing a whole lot easier. Remove the cake from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving so that the cold mellows.
Milk tart pancake mille-Feuille
- 3 x quantity basic pancake mix (see above for batter recipe)
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tablespoons castor sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
Milk tart filling
- 500ml (2 cups) full cream milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) cornflour
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) cake flour (all-purpose)
- 100ml full cream milk
- pinch of salt
- 80ml (1/3 cup) castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 500ml (2 cups) whipping cream
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) icing sugar
- cinnamon sugar
- To the basic pancake batter recipe, add the 1/4 cup of water, sugar and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined and rest for 30 minutes.
- For the filling, heat 2 cups of milk and the cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the cornflour, cake flour, salt, castor sugar and eggs.
- Once the milk reaches boiling point, ladle half a cup of hot milk at a time into the egg mixture whisking all the while.
- Remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the milk mixture back into the pan.
- Over a low heat, bring the custard up to the boil, whisking all the while. Cook for several minutes until the custard is thickened then add the vanilla.
- Pour into a bowl and cover with cling film. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peak stage.
- Add the cooled custard to loosen then fold half the cream into the custard.
- Layer the mille-feuille by placing one pancake on the base, spread with 2 tablespoons whipped custard cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and repeat until all the filling is used up.
- Pile the remaining whipped cream on top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
- Chill for an hour before slicing.