Sweet croustades make delicious, elegant desserts; see how easy it is to make your own with this recipe from "Bake! Essential Techniques for Perfect Baking," by Nick Malgieri. Photo credit: Quentin Bacon
Make the Croustades: Place dough on a lightly floured work surface; lightly flour dough. Using a rolling pin, press the dough firmly in parallel strokes close to one another. Continue pressing with rolling pin, adding a pinch of flour to dough between strokes, until dough becomes more malleable.
Continue rolling dough back and forth without rolling over the ends (which may make ends thinner and stick to surface). Turn dough 90 degrees, and continue rolling in the other direction; roll dough, changing directions as necessary, into a 15 1/2-inch square. Carefully transfer dough to a large baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap; transfer to refrigerator and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
Using a sharp pizza wheel, trim edges of dough and cut into nine 5-inch squares. Fold each square of dough, corner to corner, to form a triangle. Using the pizza wheel, make a cut over the fold on both sides about 1/2 inch from the edge of the triangle.
Unfold triangles back into squares. Pierce the inner squares at 1/2-inch intervals using the tines of a fork. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and salt; brush inner squares lightly with egg mixture.
Fold the outer corners of each square over to the opposite inside corners, one at a time.
Using a floured fingertip, press the borders down and indent the sides of each croustade at 1/4-inch intervals with the dull side of a paring knife. Place croustades on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet; chill until firm, or cover and chill overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Bake croustades until well risen and deep golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove croustades from baking sheet and remove some of the puff pastry layers from the center by loosening the sides of the inner squares with a fork and lifting out, also removing any unbaked dough in the process. If you would like to use the removed layers as covers for the filling, return them to baking sheets along with the croustades; return to oven until centers have cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Make the Creme Anglaise: In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil over low heat. Meanwhile, set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl; set medium bowl in a larger bowl prepared with an ice-water bath. Whisk yolks in another medium bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, remove vanilla bean, lemon zest, and cinnamon stick from boiling milk mixture; discard. Whisk 1/3 of the milk mixture into the bowl with egg yolks. Return remaining milk mixture to a boil and, while whisking, gradually add egg yolk mixture to saucepan. Continue whisking until mixture thickens slightly, about 15 seconds.
Remove from heat and pour through strainer set over prepared bowl. Continue whisking mixture until it cools slightly, about 30 seconds. Let stand until completely cooled. Transfer creme anglaise to an airtight container and keep refrigerated until ready to use. This can be done up to 1 day in advance.
Make the Fig and Raspberry Filling: Stem, peel, and chop figs, reserving 5 whole figs to finish croustades, and place them in a large bowl. Add raspberries, reserving 18 to finish croustades. Cover and set aside at room temperature. This can be done up to 1 day in advance.
Heat jam in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a boil. Let jam reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool for at least 15 minutes.
Fold the cooled jam into the fig and raspberry mixture. Place croustades on individual plates. Spoon the mixture into the center of each croustade. Halve remaining figs; top each croustade with a fig half, cut side up, and reserved raspberries. Spoon some of the creme anglaise onto the plate and serve immediately.