We recently debuted this recipe at a team-building cooking class for a major tech company and it was a hit! It's a great latin dessert - airy yet crunchy puff pastry filled with a rich pastry cream scented with lemon peel and cinnamon. We recommend you spring for the good (i.e., all-butter) puff pastry if you can find it.
Miguelitos (Spanish Cream Filled Pastry)
For The Pastry
1 pound puff pastry
1 large egg
2-3 tablespoons flour
Powdered sugar to dust
For The Filling
2 ½ cups milk
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cinnamon stick
peel of half a lemon
Preheat oven to 400F.
Thaw puff pastry per the package instructions; be sure that the pastry is fully thawed, yet still cold, when you start.
Sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour on a large work surface, then unfold and roll out the cold pastry using a rolling pin in order to smooth out any seams.
Using a very sharp knife, cut pastry into squares about 2 inches wide. Place pastry squares on a large sheet pan.
Beat 1 egg and brush each square with egg using a pastry brush. Bake on center rack for 10-12 minutes or until pastry is browned on top and crispy. Remove and allow to cool.
Pour half of the milk into a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick, vanilla extract, and lemon peel. Heat on high until milk boils and then immediately reduce the heat to low (Tip: Keep an eye on the milk as it boils so it doesn’t overflow).
Place egg yolks and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and beat. Pour in the rest of the cold milk and the cornstarch, and whisk.
Remove the cinnamon stick and lemon peel from the warm milk. Add in the cold milk mixture from the bowl, and stir with a whisk until it thickens. Remove from stove. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool in the refrigerator until it reaches room temperature or colder. Be careful, as the bowl will become hot to the touch once cream is inside.
Loosen the pastry squares from the cookie sheet using a spatula. Carefully open up the pastry squares like a sandwich. Spoon in the cream filling, and replace the top.
Transfer carefully to the serving platter and dust with powdered sugar using a sifter or sieve. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.