This is an idea that came about after catching up with a good friend. We planned on getting together to hang out and whip something up with some of the lemon verbena that was going a bit wild in her backyard. A cocktail, a dessert, who knew. The day before our planned catch-up I came across some lemon verbena myself; in full bloom and beckoning to be used. Before I knew it, I’d decided to take the humble vanilla slice and turn it into something a little more refreshing.
We Aussies have grown up with that very yellow and very firm vanilla slice from the corner bakery. It’s topped with icing, and depending where you get it, that icing may even have passionfruit through it. It may not be the most refined dessert in our land, but I must say, I am a little partial to it.
And then there’s the French vanilla slice. It isn’t filled with firm custard that’s made from a powdered mix coloured with yellow dye; instead it’s silkier, lighter and tastes of real vanilla. This is the slice I wanted to make.
I’ve cheated here by using store bought puff pastry. Who has time to make real puff from scratch? Right now, I don’t. And with that fresh lemon verbena infused through custard between flakey layers of pastry, it’s a vanilla slice that has been taken to a new level.
Sadly our catch-up and verbena cooking/drinking session was rain checked, so my vanilla slice wasn’t going to be enjoyed with another verbena creation. At least I had a slab of French-style vanilla slice to gorge on for a few days.
Recipe adapted from here