Custard slice

Custard slice

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Made with home-made, rough puff pastry, this custard slice is the real deal. It’s inspired by one of Abigail Donnelly’s memories from growing up in Zimbabwe. “My gran would pick me up from school and we would drive to our favourite bakery and order a custard slice. They had iced, feathered tops, and we would eat them ice-cold, after a swim.”


  • 325 g flour
  • For the rough puff pastry:
  • 198 g butter, frozen and grated
  • 325 g flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 198 g butter, frozen and grated
  • 8–10 T ice-cold water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 8–10 T ice-cold water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • For the filling:
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1½ cups cream
  • 3 T butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeded
  • 1 t fresh nutmeg grated
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 50 g cornflour
  • 6 free-range eggs, separated
  • For the icing:
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 200 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 T water
  • 100 g cocoa powder, sifted

Cooking Instructions

1.  Using a glass bowl and a metal butter knife or a pastry knife cut the flour, butter and salt together. Add the water as quickly as you can so that pastry stays cold and the butter stays as chilled as possible.

2. Add the lemon juice and combine until the pastry comes together. Wrap in clingwrap and chill for at least 1 hour. Once rested, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of ½ cm, fold the top third down and the bottom third up so that there are 3 layers. Wrap in clingwrap and chill for 10 minutes. Repeat this process 3 times; the short end should face you when you’re rolling out the pastry so you’re stretching it in different directions every time. Rest for 10 minutes between session to make sure that the dough stays cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, cut the dough in half and roll out each half to a thickness of 3mm. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 8–12 minutes until golden brown and fluffy. Allow to cool.

4. Meanwhile, make the custard. Place the milk, cream, butter, vanilla pod and seeds, nutmeg and sugar in a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.

5. Combine the water and cornflour to make a slurry, then whisk that into the egg yolks. Whisk the cornfour-and-egg mixture into the hot cream mixture. Once combined, return to the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 30 seconds, or until thickened. Cover chill until the custard is completely cold.

6. To make the icing, whisk the lemon juice and 150 g icing sugar together. In a separate bowl whisk the water, cocoa powder and remaining icing sugar together. Place the chocolate icing in a piping bag.

7. Once the pastry is cool, spread a thick layer of custard onto it, then top with another layer of pastry. Top with a layer of white icing. To make the feathered icing, pipe lines of chocolate icing on top of the white icing about 2 cm apart. Gently drag the blunt side of a kebab stick or toothpick across the top of the icing in the opposite direction of the chocolate lines to create a feathered effect.

Find more sweet treat recipes here.

Videography: Romy Wilson, Jan Ras

Abigail Donnelly Recipe by: Abigail Donnelly
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Nothing excites Woolworths TASTE's Food Director quite as much as the challenge of dreaming up recipes with innovative new foods – or the thrill of creating deliciousness on a plate with the humblest of ingredients. With Abi by your side, you’ll be a cooking expert in no time at all.

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    Lois Carol Wessels
    February 9, 2022

    Will be baking this soon – so partial to custard slices