This dessert is the perfect mix of elegance and simplicity: a flaky pastry filled with a sweet custard, and topped with the ripest berries.
- 2 cups whole milk
- Half a vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3 egg yolks
- 1⁄4 cup plus 6 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 (7 1/2-by-14 1/2-inch) sheet puff pastry
- 1 tbsp. heavy cream
- 6 cups fresh raspberries
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2–3 pints hulled fresh strawberries
For the custard: Put milk and vanilla bean into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Put 2 yolks, 1⁄4 cup sugar, flour, and cornstarch in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth. Slowly pour hot milk into yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return to pan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until custard just comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Whisk vigorously until smooth, about 1 minute. Strain, discarding bean, and set aside.
For the pastry: Preheat oven to 375°. Lay puff pastry on a cookie sheet. Mix together remaining egg yolk and cream in a bowl. Brush top of pastry with egg wash, carefully avoiding edges (this would seal edges and keep pastry from puffing). Use a paring knife to lightly score pastry into portions. Refrigerate 20 minutes, then bake until deep golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
For the berries: Purée 2 cups raspberries in a food processor. Strain into a bowl and stir in 4 tbsp. of the sugar and lemon juice; set aside. Toss strawberries and remaining 4 cups raspberries with remaining 2 tbsp. sugar in a bowl.
To serve, spoon some raspberry puree onto each plate, add some berries, spoon some custard over berries, and set a pastry wedge on top.