The amount of preparation that goes into these things is well worth it. Biting into one of these is a small glance at heaven.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
- Roll out dough into a rectangle.
- Cut out large rounds (3-4 inches in diameter) and place on a prepared baking sheet.
- Make round indents in each pastry, and allow it to rise slightly. You can flour the bottom of a spice container to easily make the indents.
- Bake pastries until golden brown (about 10 minutes). While still warm, renew the indentations.
- While the pastries are cooling, make glaze by combining milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl.
- Brush glaze on each cooled pastry, and complete by adding a dollup of boiled creme in the center.
- Mix yeast, 2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat milk until warm to the touch, and add to dry ingredients.
- Mix in egg, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add in the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time.
- Mix or knead dough into a smooth ball.
- Place dough in a clean bowl and cover with a moistened towel. Allow to rise until doubled (about 2 hrs).
- Meanwhile, cream remaining 1/3 cups of the flour with the butter, and set in fridge to chill.
- Once the dough has risen, roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle.
- Pat and spread butter mixture on top of the rectangle.
- Fold dough over the butter, and crimp the edges to seal. (If butter layer has grown too warm, return to fridge until workable.)
- At least 3-4 times, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, fold the dough into thirds, and roll out again.
- Return to fridge to chill until ready to bake.
- Heat 3/4 cup of the milk with the vanilla on low.
- Whisk egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Whisk in flour, then sugar, and finally, remaining milk.
- When milk is almost boiling, combine with egg mixture, stirring constantly to smooth. Increase heat to medium low.
- Continue stirring until the creme texture thickens to that of pudding.
- Pour creme into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill.