Homemade Vanilla Custard Pudding Used in A Short-Cut Version of French Napoleon Pastry

My posting lately is sporadic due to the fact I'm still traveling out of state every week so I'm not in my own home and I'm cooking in another persons kitchen with very limited ingredients and groceries.  I do shopping when I arrive every other week and get things I need to make meals that week - and with food prices what they are, I don't often buy anything 'extra'.  However, a few weeks ago I bought a Puff Pastry and kept in the freezer thinking my daughter or I might use it at some point.

This week when I arrived there was a plethora of leftover food from Thanksgiving in the refrigerator, including a bowl of homemade whipped cream.  After the 2nd day I knew it would break down soon so I got the puff pastry from the freezer and set out to make some homemade vanilla custard (pudding) to sandwich between.  The frozen puff pastry makes it so quick and easy to throw together a version of the French Napoleon pastry!

Homemade Vanilla Custard (Pudding)

1/3 c sugar
2 T cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/4 c milk
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 T real butter
2 t good quality vanilla extract

Mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl.  Lightly beat the egg yolks.  In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium high until it starts to simmer. Add the sugar mixture and whisk or stir until it comes to a boil.  Boil for about 1 full minute and remove from heat.  Take half the milk/sugar mixture and slowly drizzle it into the bowl of beaten yolks while whisking.  It should be smooth if you do it correctly.  Now pour that slowly back into the saucepan with the rest of the pudding and return to heat.  As it starts to boil, let it boil 1 minute while stirring.  Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.  If you want to let it cool for later lay a piece of saran wrap or plastic wrap over the top to keep a skin from forming.

If you only want a delicious homemade vanilla pudding, this is your recipe.  If you want to take it one step further, whip 2 cups of heavy cream with a bit of sweetener (about 2 tablespoons to start and add more according to your desired level of sweetness - and a dash of vanilla). Cut the pastries according to the pan or serving dish size you are using.  Bake the 2 packages of puff pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment according to directions on package.  As soon as they come out of the oven, you can use a cookie sheet or similar to lay on top of the pastry to squash it down just a bit so it's not so puffy and can be layered. 

In the pan or serving dish you've chosen, layer one puff pastry layer, some of the pudding, some of the whipped cream and another layer of pastry followed the rest of the pudding and whipped cream.  Top with the final layer of pastry. 

Chill until time to serve.

Don't care about 'pretty' pictures - I just snapped a quick one on my phone
while I was dishing up yet another piece of it eat and called it 'lunch'!

Two similar recipes I've posted in the past:

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