The pastry of a thousand leaves... ...well maybe not quite a thousand, but it is quite a few tasty layers.
Peel, cut, quarter and de-core the apples.
Cut into 12 equal wedges.
Lightly oil the apples.
Make a frying pan very hot and add apples until just starting to colour, remove.
Turn the pan heat down,then add the sugar to the pan to melt and form a caramel.
Return the apples back to the pan and coat with caramel, turning the apples over from time to time.
Once the liquid from the apples has reduced to a thick syrup, add the rum and flambe by tilting the pan towards the flame.
When the flame has gone out, set to one side and allow to cool.
Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and place in a saucepan with the milk. Bring to the boil.
Place the egg yolks, the caster sugar, corn flour in a bowl and mix.
Once the milk is boiling, add it little by little to the egg yolk mixture. Return the mixture to the pan and whisk over a medium to high heat for 3-4 minutes, gently bringing it to the boil. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge.
Whip the double cream until thick and then gently fold into the chilled vanilla cream. Put the finished cream into a piping bag and keep chilled until ready to assemble the mille feuille.
Preheat the oven to 180'C.
Cut the puff pastry into rectangles (5cm x 3cm). Allow 3 per person.
Bake 2/3 of the puff pastry rectangles for 15 minutes with another baking tray on top to keep them flat. Bake the rest uncovered and allow them to puff up.
When the pastry is crisp and golden brown, allow to cool and then dust with icing sugar.
Top half of the flat pastry rectangles with caramelised apples and pastry cream, cutting the fruit to size if necessary.
Place a second layer of pastry on top and and another layer of pastry cream and apples.
Place the final layer of puff pastry on top, dust with icing sugar and finish with a drizzle of the caramel sauce.
«Try being experimental with your fruits or adding a little bit of flavouring to your pastry cream.»