Puff pastry showstoppers

Three sweet treats for the ambitious baker to try. First up is an orange and thyme puff, then a pear, malt and butterscotch millefeuille, finishing with blackberry and lemon verbena crème brûlée custard tarts.

Equipment and preparation: you will need a free-standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, 12-hole muffin tin, baking beans and a silicone mat.

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For the pastry

For the crème pâtissière

For the fig and orange pastry puff slices

  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 unwaxed orange, zest only
  • 1-2 tsp orange extract
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 4 sheets gelatine, soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 200ml/7fl oz orange juice
  • 2½ sheets gelatine, soaked in water for 10 minutes

For the pear and malt millefeuille

  • 2-3 tbsp malt extract, to taste
  • 100g/3½oz icing sugar
  • 2 tsp dried powdered malt
  • 2 pears (such as Williams or Rocha), ripe but still firm, peeled and sliced 1cm/½in thick

For the streusel

For the butterscotch sauce

For the lemon crème pâtissière

For the toppings