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Custard slices (Vlaskywe)

Custard slices (Afrikaans “vlaskywe”), a very traditional treat in South Africa, are made by sandwiching thick custard between two layers of crispy crust, and adding a thin layer of icing to glaze the top. They are related to Kiwi custard slices/squares, but not quite the same.

This recipe is based on the traditional South African custard slice, but we used rose water to flavour the icing, and puff pastry to make the crust. You can of course use either lemon juice or vanilla in the glaze icing, which is more traditional than the some-what Bohemian flavour of rose water.

Ingredients

Crust:

2 square sheets of ready rolled puff pastry (we use Edmonds reduced fat puff pastry which comes in 23 cm by 23 cm sheets).

Custard filling:

  • 4 cups (1 litre) milk
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) sugar
  • 50 gram butter
  • ½ cup (125 ml) flour
  • ½ cup (125 ml) corn flour
  • ½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt
  • ½ cup (125 ml) cold water
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • Vanilla pod (optional)

Glaze:

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons boiling water and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    or
    1 tablespoon rosewater (and maybe a drop of pink food colouring)
    or
    1 tablespoon strained lemon juice

Method

Crust:

  1. Place two sheets of puff pastry on a baking tray and pierce all over with a fork, but don't go all the way through the pastry.
  2. For extra-thin, crisp pastry, place a second baking sheet on top of the puff pastry sheets before baking. This will prevent the pastry from rising too much.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in an oven at 220°C, or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
  4. Leave to cool down.
  5. Line the bottom of an oven dish with one layer of baked pastry. (A square dish that measures 24 cm by 24 cm on the inside will work best.)

Custard filling:

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan.
  2. If you choose to infuse the milk with a vanilla pod, ensure that the vanilla is steeped in the hot milk for half an hour before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add butter, sugar and salt when the milk reach boiling point and stir to dissolve.
  4. In a bowl, combine the cornflour, flour, cold water and egg yolks, and stir well.
  5. Add a quarter of the hot milk to the bowl to increase the temperature of the flour, cornflour and egg yolk mixture. Mix well and then add this mixture to the milk mixture in the saucepan.
  6. Stir well and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.
  7. Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  8. Whisk egg whites and fold into the custard.
  9. Pour the custard into the dish and spread over the bottom crust.

Glazing:

  1. Place the second sheet of baked pastry over the custard.
  2. Mix the icing ingredients and beat until smooth. You can add a little extra liquid if necessary, but be careful not to make it runny.
  3. Spread the icing over the crust.

 

Let is set in fridge for an hour or two.

Cut into squares just before serving.

Notes: 

Instead of puff pastry, you can use a 200 gram packet of Cream Crackers.

Half a packet should neatly cover the bottom of a 30 cm by 23 cm dish, leaving the second half of the packet for the top.

If you ensure that the top layer exactly mirrors the bottom layer of Cream Crackers, it will be easy to cut into neat rectangular blocks when serving.