Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
500 g puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
300 ml double or regular cream
150 g raspberry jam
350 g fresh raspberries (plus 50g raspberries to decorate)
icing sugar, for dusting
This is a wonderfully light dessert of puff pastry layered with cream and raspberry. It looks very grand and impressive, so do serve it at the table as it looks best before it is sliced. Alternatively, cut the pastry into smaller rectangles before cooking, to make eight individual millefeuilles.
Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).
Divide the puff pastry into four equal pieces, as each piece will be rolled and baked separately. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out each piece to 20 x 32cm (8 x 13in), making sure it is nice and thin - about 2mm (1/8in).
Trim the edges with a knife dipped in hot water (to give a nice neat edge) before carefully lifting into the tin. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
Bake in the oven for about 7-8 minutes or until crisp and golden in colour. (The pastry will shrink a little while baking.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack while you roll out and bake the next pastry layer. You may need to do this in batches, but the pastry will sit perfectly in the fridge once cut while you're baking the other sheets. Repeat until all four layers are baked and have been set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whip the cream until thick, then place in the fridge if you are not using it immediately.
To assemble the millefeuille, first place one pastry layer on a serving plate and spread with a third of the whipped cream, then cover the cream with half the raspberries. Carefully spread the raspberry jam over the second pastry layer, then place on top of the previous layer and spread with another third of the whipped cream.
Add another layer of pastry and spread the remaining cream and raspberries on top of this. Finish with the last layer of pastry (I like to save the best-looking one for the top), dusting liberally with icing sugar and extra raspberries for decoration.
Bring to the table to serve, cutting into squares as neatly as possible.