Ginger-Citrus Mille- Feuille with Earl Grey Ice Cream

tangerine curd mille feuille
Photo by Con Poulos

Courtesy Ryley Eckersley, chef de cuisine, Quaintrelle, Portland, OR

With a name that means “a thousand sheets,” this dessert has the veneer of French patisserie fanciness. Ryley Eckersley, chef de cuisine at Quaintrelle in Portland, Oregon, has simplified things by calling for frozen puff pastry. His version is also layered with ginger custard, set off by a tangerine curd and Earl Grey ice cream—the combination of bright citrus and warming ginger is a winter classic.

Ingredients for Tangerine Curd Mille-Feuille
  • 1 17-ounce package frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup tangerine juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 5 yolks
  • ½ cup ginger juice
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Earl Grey ice cream (recipe follows)
Directions for Tangerine Curd Mille-Feuille

Heat oven to 400 ̊F. Roll out puff pastry to ¼ inch thick. Cut into 36 rectangles (or other shape, if desired). Place on parchment-lined sheet pan, then top with another sheet of parchment and place another tray on top. Bake for 15 minutes, remove top tray and parchment, and bake for another 4–5 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

For curd, in saucepan over medium heat, combine tangerine juice, lemon zest, 1 cup sugar and whole eggs, whisking vigorously and constantly. Whisk in butter until fully incorporated, allow to reach bubble, then transfer to bowl and chill.

To make ginger custard, heat milk and vanilla to simmer. Separately, whisk yolks and sugar together until pale yellow, fold in ginger juice, cornstarch and flour until fully incorporated. Very slowly add hot milk, whisking constantly until fully incorporated. Strain through fine-mesh sieve back into pan and heat until just starting to boil. Remove from heat, chill and transfer to piping bag.

To assemble, small dollop custard on plate. Place puff pastry piece on top. Pipe dots down both sides, and top with another puff pastry piece, and repeat, for 3 layers of puff. Pipe or spoon tangerine curd on plate, where you see fit. Place scoop of Earl Grey ice cream on plate. Repeat with remaining components. Serves 12.

Ingredients for Earl Grey Ice Cream
  • 10 egg yolks
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 earl gray tea bags
Directions for Earl Grey Ice Cream

Vigorously egg yolks with sugar until mixture is pale yellow, about 1 minute. Heat heavy cream and milk in medium pot, add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Slowly add hot cream mixture into egg mixture, mixing constantly. Return to pot and stir with rubber spatula until mixture has thickened or reached 180˚F degrees. Strain and spin according to ice cream machine.

Wine Pairing: Ice Wine

These wines, produced primarily in Canada and Germany, are made from grapes that are harvested when they’re frozen, usually in January or February. They tend to be honeylike in their sweetness but balanced by fresh acidity. Often carrying notes of stone fruits, they’re a great complement to desserts made with everything from citrus to tropical varieties.

For this dessert, Quaintrelle Wine Manager Chris Cooper recommends Alloro 2017 Vino Nettare Dessert Wine, produced nearby in the Chehalem Mountains appellation of the Willamette Valley. This “ice style” wine is 65% Muscat and 35% Riesling. Its apricot and floral notes will highlight the tangerine curd, while the dessert’s ginger custard will keep things from getting too sweet.

Published on December 12, 2020