Traditional Tompouces for an untraditional Kingsday
The celebration of the King’s birthday, ‘Kingsday’, as it’s known, is arguably the Netherlands most iconic party. On april 27th – a public holiday – the entire nation shows up to paint the town orange. Thousands of brightly coloured boat parties flood the canals, music fills the streets, flea markets spring up as locals dust off their wares, and orange-clad revellers spill out of packed cafes and restaurants in celebration of the Royal ‘van Oranjes’ (or the ‘House of Orange’, as the Dutch Royal family’s dynasty is sometimes referred to).
Traditional proceedings are kicked off by tuning into ‘Royal hour’, generally with a cup of coffee accompanied by a distinctive orange treat, the iconic orange Tompouce! This pastry – a Dutch classic – usually has pink icing, but like the rest of the country, it gets its orange on in honour of the King’s special day.
Of course Kingsday celebrations are looking a little different this year, Koningsdag (King’s day) has been replaced with ‘Woningsdag’ (lit. house day) and we’ll all be raising a glass to the King from our sofas. But there are some traditions that must be upheld – and in our books, the Tompouce is one of those. So without further ado, here’s our step by step guide to (orange) pastry perfection…
Warning: they’re a little bit addictive.
Recipe Dutch Orange Tompouces
- 6 pieces of store bought puff pastry sheets
- Baking paper
- Rolling Pin
- 500 ml milk
- vanilla bean from 1 vanilla pod
- 100 gr caster sugar
- 2 large eggyolks
- 45 gr instand custard powder or corn starch
- Piping bag
- 300 ml Cream
- 30 gram caster sugar
- Piping bag
- 100 gr icing sugar
- 15 gr water
- foodcoloring orange or carrotjuice
This pastry is made of three components that you need to prepare individually. You can choose to do all the components in one day, or prepare them individually the day before. First up is the bottom and the top layer of puff pastry. Then we’ll tackle the filling which consists of vanilla pastry cream and whipped cream. And finally, we’ll crown our Tompouce with the traditional orange icing.
Defrost and layer the 6 sheets of puff pastry on top of each other. Lightly roll them out, dusting the top with just a little flour, using your rolling pin to roll out any bumps until the pastry is an even rectangular shape (36 x 24 cm). Prick the pastry with a fork to create little holes (these will prevent the pastry from rising too much). Then place the pastry on baking paper and let it rest for 2 hours. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes on 180 degrees. For the last 10 minutes lower the temperature to 150 degrees to ‘dry’ the pastry. Leave the pastry to cool.
Heat the milk and vanilla together, bringing the mixture to the boil before removing from the heat and discarding the vanilla pod. Immediately pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, slowly but steadily. Return the mixture with the eggs back into the pan holding the remaining half of the milk and vanilla mixture. Keep on whisking until the vanilla cream starts to thicken on low heat – continuous whisking is important to prevent the eggs from curdling. Once the cream has thickened and is bubbling, continue to whisk for a further 30 seconds before removing from the heat. Transfer the mixture into a heatproof bowl and cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap directly touches the surface of the cream to prevent a ‘skin’ from forming. Leave to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
For best results chill the sugar in a large bowl. Once chilled, add the cream and mix together slowly to avoid any ‘splashing’. Once the cream starts to thicken you can speed things up and begin to whisk faster, but take care not to overwhip otherwise you’ll end up with butter (also delicious, but cream is what we’re after here!)
Mix the icing sugar, water and food colouring together until you have a nice orange shade. Then heat the mixture in the microwave to 40 degrees. Ensure it’s warm but not piping hot, or the sugar will crystalize and will turn the colour brown (I speak from experience on this one, see pictures!)
Assembling the components
Now for the grand finale! Cut the puff pastry in half vertically down the middle. Fill one piping bag with vanilla pastry cream, another with whipped cream. Then pipe a generous layer of pastry cream onto a pastry sheet, followed by a layer of whipped cream directly on top. Cover with the second pastry sheet. Pour the warm icing gently over the top of the pastry and divide evenly. Try to work quickly because once the icing cools it will begin to set. Using a sharp knife, divide the pastry into five or six individual pieces. Try to be delicate with your slicing, the filling is easily squashed!
Although not quite the vibrant shade of orange I was hoping for (accidents happen!) the Tompouces were thoroughly enjoyed by my family and neighbours. Give them a try – we’d love to see pictures of your creations!
Happy Kingsday, from the Fine Fleur bakers!