One of the things that I am doing here when the kids are at school, is meeting with my Dutch girl-friends group. All ‘girls’ are lovely and have great personalities. So I feel very privileged to have them here. Because of the large age differences we probably would never have been friends in the Netherlands. But for here it works great and it is so nice to talk about things we experience here or just gossip about Americans and their (sometimes silly) habits ;). Unfortunately, Ellen is going to leave Arizona. She and her husband are going back to Nijmegen. We are all happy for her because she missed her home, children and friends a lot. But we are sad too since her going will leave a hole in our group. As a farewell we are looking back on the great memories we had together. One of these was eating home made Tompouce at my house. Even though we all know that Ellen is never (and when I say never, I mean never) going to make them herself, we want to share the recipe that I used to make them for her and the other girls in a memory book that we are planning to give her on her farewell party. So here it is, especially for Ellen (and for everybody else who wants to try to make this delicious delicacy)!
For approximately 6 Tompouces
Ingredients for the puffed pastry
1 cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter (directly from the fridge)
¼ cup ice cold water (see instructions)
(you can also buy puffed pastry in your local grocery store if you want to make it more easy)
Ingredients for the pastry cream
750 ml whole milk
6 egg yolks
200 g sugar (1 cup)
80 g cornstarch (1/2 cup)
100 g unsalted butter (not margarine) (1/3 cup)
6 teaspoons vanilla flavor
Ingredients for the icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 or 3 drops pink food coloring
1 tablespoon water
Kitchenware you need
A solid rolling pin
A large amount of baking paper
A piece of aluminum or kitchen foil
A cooking brush
A wooden spoon
A mixer (kitchen machine, hand mixer or whisk)
How to make them?
How to make Puffed pastry
Start with the puffed pastry by filling a measuring cup with water and ice (make a whole can of ice water so that you can take off the ice cold water without the ice you need when you need it).
Cut 1/4thof the butter in small pieces and place back in the fridge until you are going to use it (together with the rest of the butter).
Slowly mix the flour with the salt and stir in the butter (I use a KitchenAid mixer with flat beating whisk but you can also use a fork) until you have crumbs.
Take ¼ cup ice cold water out of the measuring cup (use only water, without ice) and stir it slowly into your flour mixture. Form a soft dough ball, wrap it in foil and let cool in the refrigerator for 60 minutes (or 30 minutes in the freezer when you are, like me, not so patient).
Take the rest of the butter out of the refrigerator and place between two large pieces of baking paper. Roll out until you have a square butter bar. Wrap the butter bar in foil and place back in the refrigerator.
Tip! In the time you are waiting for the dough and butter to cool, you can start with the pastry cream
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and place between two large pieces of baking paper. Roll into a big square (approximately 0,5 cm thick). Take the butter bar out of the refrigerator and place it (as a diamond) on the dough square. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter bar so that it is fully covered with dough.
Again place the pack between two sheets of baking paper and roll into a big square (approximately 0,5 cm thick).
Fold the two shorter sides towards the center (so that you wrap the second side over de first side). Again fold the short sides towards the center (so that you wrap the second side over the first side). You will now have a folded dough square again. Wrap in foil and let cool in the refrigerator for 60 minutes (or 30 in the freezer).
Take the dough square out of the refrigerator and place again between two sheets of baking paper. Roll out until you have a big square again (approximately 0,5 cm thick). Fold the two shorter sides towards the center (so that you wrap the second side over de first side). Again fold the short sides towards the center (so that you wrap the second side over the first side). You will now have a folded dough square again. Roll out between the baking sheets and use the same folding technique another time. Wrap the dough square in foil again and let cool in the refrigerator for 60 minutes (or 30 in the freezer). Repeat this process of rolling, folding and refrigerating two more times.
Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C). Take the dough out of the refrigerator and place again between two sheets of baking paper. Roll out until you have a big square again (approximately 0,5 cm thick). Take the upper baking sheet off and use a fork to pierce a lot of little holes in the dough square. This will prevent the dough from bubbling up to much when you bake it. Place the pierced dough square on a baking sheet and cover again with another baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
Get the square out of the oven and cut carefully into 12 same size rectangles. Place the rectangles back in the oven (with the baking sheet on top) and bake for another 10 minutes (or until they are crispy). Let cool on a wire rack. Your pastry biscuits are now ready.
Tip! Leftovers of the puffed pastry you can cut in same sized pieces and bake off as well. Sprinkle with some white icing and some melted chocolate and you have delicious cookies.
How to make the pastry cream?
Softly mix 100 ml of the milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch into a smooth yellow mixture.
Pour the rest of the milk into a sauce pan and stir in the vanilla flavor.
Cook over medium heat until the milk mixture reaches the boiling point. Take it of the stove and pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture. Keep stirring the egg yolk mixture while you pouring in the milk. Quickly wash away milk remainders in the sauce pan and pour the mixture back into the sauce pan.
Turn the heat to low and place the sauce pan back on the cooker. Keep stirring until the cream is as thick as jelly. This might take a while. Because of the cornstarch, the mixture may get lumpy. Keep stirring until all lumps are gone…. Yes, I know, this will give you some soreness in your arm muscles.
Cover the cream with kitchen foil. If you put the foil as a skin on top of the cream, the cream won’t form a skin itself. Let it cool on the kitchen top until the cream is still warm but not steamy anymore. In the meanwhile, cut the butter into little cubes and let it come to room temperature.
Pull of the foil and stir in the butter cubes until they are completely dissolved. Cover the cream again and place it in the refrigerator. Let cool overnight.
Tip: in this recipe we do not use the egg whites. If you beat them up (together with sugar and some cream of tartar) and bake it, you can use them to make meringues (schuimpjes).
Tip: If you replace the vanilla for two tablespoons of instant coffee, half the amount of cornstarch and leave the butter out you have delicious ‘hopjesvla’.
Tip: If you have some pastry cream left, beat up some whipping cream with sugar and stir it through the cream. You will have ‘vanille slagroom vla’.
How the make the icing
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until the icing is smooth (without any lumps).
How to make the Tompouce
Cover half of the puffed pastry rectangles with a thick layer of icing. If the icing is too transparent, work in multiple layers.
Scoop a thick layer (approximately 4 cm) of pastry cream on top of the remaining puffed pastry squares. And cover it with the pink puffed pastry cookies.
Use a pastry knife to scrape down excess cream.
Tadaaa!!!! Enjoy your home made tompouce.