Vanilla custard slices

Vanilla custard slices

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins Plus cooling and setting

More effort

Makes 8

A glorious pastry classic that's tricky to get perfect, but lends a touch of patisserie luxury on an afternoon tea stand

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per slice

  • kcal658
  • fat41g
  • saturates21g
  • carbs62g
  • sugars29g
  • fibre0g
  • protein10g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 500g pack puff pastry
  • 50g flaked almond
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting, plus extra to serve

For the custard filling

  • 1 gelatine leaf
  • 750ml whole milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
  • 100g cornflour
  • 25g custard powder
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 140g caster sugar


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Roll out 250g of the pastry on a sheet of baking parchment to about 25cm square. Scatter over half the almonds, then press them in very gently, dust with half the icing sugar and lay over a second sheet of baking parchment. Lift onto a baking sheet, and sit another baking sheet on top like a sandwich. Fill a few small tins with baking beans (or something similarily heavy and ovenproof like raw rice). Bake for 30 mins, then have a quick peek – it will probably need another 5 mins to be well browned and crisp all over.

  2. When done, remove from the oven, take off the weights and top baking tray, then carefully lift off the top sheet of parchment and leave to cool. Repeat with the remaining pastry – you can do both sheets at once if you have enough baking sheets and tins, but they might not cook as evenly with two in the oven, so it is safer to do one at a time. Cool both completely.

  3. Put the gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften, then put the remaining custard ingredients in a big saucepan. Set over a low heat to start, whisking continuously to mix well, then increase the heat a little until the custard is gently boiling. Keep whisking the whole time – the custard will thicken and lump unevenly, but keep cooking and whisking until it is smooth and very thick.

  4. Remove the custard from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Squeeze out the water from the gelatine sheet, then stir it into the custard until it has dissolved.

  5. Line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking parchment – criss-crossing 2 big strips will give you the neatest corners. Using a big, sharp knife and a ruler – or the base of your tin if it is removable – trim one pastry sheet to a shade under a 20cm square, so it will sit inside the tin, almond-side down. Spread over the custard as evenly as you can. Trim the second pastry sheet in the same way, but then divide the square into eight 10 x 5cm rectangles (so it will be easier when you cut the slices later). Sit them on top of the custard, almondside up, putting them back together a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. Gently press down on the pastry so it doesn’t break but sticks to the custard, then cover and chill for 4 hrs or so, but better still overnight.

  6. To serve, lift the slice from the tin and cut all the way through where the pastry top is already cut. Dust the slices with a little more icing sugar and serve. Best eaten within 24 hours, when the pastry is still good and crisp.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Gail B
21st Apr, 2017
Just made these custard slices....they are gorgeous!! Cant wait to eat them all:P:P Recipe easy to follow, turned out perfectly.....
29th Mar, 2013
Fantastic! This recipe is a winner! I felt quite apprehensive at first as I always thought custard slices difficult to make, but this recipe is easy to follow and works perfectly. It also tastes LOVELY.... I already bought the ingredients to make them again. 😉
23rd Mar, 2013
If you don't like almonds then an alternative may be to omit them & add a little raspberry jam to the underside of the top pastry layer, just before putting in the fridge to chill.
8th Mar, 2013
Made these as my husband loves vanilla slices but the ones you get in the bakers are too sweet for him. Now I have done it the whole family 3 children and partners and 5 grandchildren all love them and I am making them once a week Help !! Didnt change a thing as they are perfect not too difficult to make, I did once run out of cornflour and used 50g cornflour and made uo the rest with custard powder and they were still delicious.
5th Jun, 2017
quick question, i don't have any gelatine leaves but i do have gelatine powder, how much powder do i use as a substitute for this recipe ?
goodfoodteam's picture
6th Jun, 2017
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this with gelatine powder, you'd need to follow the pack instructions for the exact quantities.
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