Now that school is out for the summer, I’m already planning my entertaining. We have a deck on our roof, and the Taste of Minnesota food festival sets off fireworks four nights in a row. It’s pretty spectacular, and a great time for us to have friends over for dessert before the fireworks. The parties usually involve kids, so I like to make a dessert that is kid-friendly but also fabulous for adults.
I choose Puff Pastry Stars with Custard Sauce, and I know it will be a hit. The flavors are simple and yet fantastic – creamy custard sauce with a hint of white chocolate, plus puff pastry cut-outs dusted with powdered sugar, and a sprinkling of berries. It’s easy to get everything ready in the morning or the day before, and just assemble before serving. The kids could even add their own berries and stars just for fun!
Puff pastry is a great little secret I often forget. Basically, you just thaw it, roll over it lightly to smooth it out, and cut it into shapes. I use a ruler to make sure the size is about 10 inches square as the recipe suggests.
Choose a metal cookie cutter that has sharp edges to make a clean cut in the pastry for maximum puffing. Plastic can also work, but it tends to be more dull.
I need to carefully position the stars to get all 12 out of the dough, making rows of 4 stars across. We make a few 1-inch hearts, too, with the dough in between the stars, just for fun.
The rest of the magic happens in the oven, where it puffs all up into layers – beautiful! With the dusting of powder sugar, the stars add a majestic touch to this simple custard. Just tap the sugar onto the cooled stars using a small sieve or strainer.
Making the custard was quite easy, but I did need to pay attention. I made sure to mix the half & half into the egg mixture slowly while stirring, and then watching to make sure the custard didn’t boil once it was back in the saucepan. Keep the heat low, because boiling will cause your custard to curdle and it won't have that smooth-as-silk consistency you want.
I like to use a Swedish-style whisk for custards -- makes it easy to get the corners of the pan when whisking, so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan and burns.
The custard is done when it coats the back of a spoon.
Assembling the desert is as fun as eating it. First, you put in the custard, then the berries, and then you place the stars just so – voila! It’s like your own mini-masterpiece. I add a tiny heart, too, and Zoey adds initials she makes out of scrap puff pastry for everyone in the family. It is a wonderful night on the deck. I feel ready for entertaining, and I think we have a new favorite summer dessert.
Read, rate and review this fun dessert, Puff Pastry Stars with Custard Sauce. Let me know what you think of my new summer dessert… and stop back on July 6th to check out some great fish tacos that are perfect for summer grilling!
This week on Thursday learn how to make White Chicken Pizza, a new Land O'Lakes recipe that is perfect for a summertime quick supper.