Portuguese sins: Custard Cream Millefeuilles


It’s one of the most emblematic Portuguese sweets, reinvented by one of the country’s most prestigious chefs, José Avillez. Try, and indulge.

Ingredients for 4 people

For the pastry:

200 g high-quality puff pastry

For the cream:

1 l milk
200 g egg yolks
150 g sugar
50 g cornstarch
50 g flour
1 lemon peel

For the cinnamon ice cream:

1 l of milk
0.5 l cream
50 g trimoline or inverted-sugar syrup
250 g egg yolks
200 g sugar
10 g of ice-cream stabiliser
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Demerara sugar to taste
Cinnamon powder to taste
Icing sugar to taste


For the pastry:

Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin, prick it lightly with a fork and place it between two baking sheets. Bake at 250°C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool and cut into uniform rectangles. Set aside.

For the cream:

In a saucepan, boil the milk with the lemon peel. Let it infuse for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Thoroughly mix the eggs with the flour and add the milk slowly, stirring continuously. Heat once again until the desired consistency is obtained. Cover with cling film to avoid drying.

Set aside.

For the cinnamon ice cream:

Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and then the egg-yolk preparation. Place in the ice cream maker until it reaches the desired consistency.


With the help of a pastry bag, put a thick layer of the cream on each puff-pastry rectangle. For each person, stand three puff-pastry rectangles on top of each covered with the cream to obtain three layers.

Warm slightly in the oven. Sprinkle the top with Demerara sugar and burn with a blowtorch. Sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar and serve with the cinnamon ice cream.


Considered one of the great Portuguese chefs, José Avillez stands out because of his enterprising spirit and his willingness to go one step further. At the moment he has three restaurants in Lisbon, which, while offering different culinary experiences, all express his enormous passion for cooking. At his Belcanto restaurant, awarded a Michelin star within a year of opening, one can enjoy new Portuguese cuisine in a sophisticated atmosphere that still provides some of the former romance of the Chiado district. This is the style that truly defines José Avillez and expresses the course of his creativity. While O Cantinho do Avillez, one of the city’s most sought after meeting points, is a very relaxed and comfortable restaurant. Here one can sample a new style of Portuguese cuisine, clearly influenced by his travels. And Pizzaria Lisboa is the fulfilling of an old dream. Since he was young José Avillez had dreamed of opening a pizzeria, perhaps because he was fascinated by how pizza has travelled around the world, or perhaps because he adores the fun, family atmosphere of pizzerias, or perhaps because he loves a challenge and, very probably, for all these reasons.


© Nuno Correia