6 sheets frozen puff pastry (thawed)
2 pints strawberries (thinly sliced)
For the vanilla custard, you'll need
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup half-and-half
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
Cut each puff pastry sheet into four equal rectangles. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with wax paper. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes, then raise the temperature to 450 and bake for 3-5 minutes longer until light, golden, and puffed. Let cook on a wire rack. (You'll want to gently remove these from the baking sheet with a spatula because they're very delicate.)
In a heavy, medium saucepan, add half-and-half and vanilla. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth and creamy (~2 minutes). Add a little of the hot half-and half, whisking. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thick and creamy. Be sure to remove the saucepan from the heat as soon as it starts to boil, but while you're still whisking. Otherwise, the custard will curdle. Now, pour the custard into a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until cool (~3-4 minutes).
In a small bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently mix the whipped cream into the custard mix.
Spread a layer of custard cream onto the bottom piece of your dessert, then put 2 layers of sliced strawberries on top of the custard cream. Spread another layer of custard cream on the top piece of your puffed pastry (like you would spread mayo on a sandwich) and place it on top of the strawberries. Lightly sift powdered sugar on top of your finished dessert and serve!
I just love this dessert, but if you've never made custard before, it's not the easiest dessert in the world to make. It's not terribly difficult, but just keep your eye on the custard and don't let it curdle! If you're in a hurry, you can always buy vanilla custard at a specialty store or even use vanilla pudding (although.... I would encourage you to try making homemade custard). You can do it!
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