Mixed Fruit Napoleans with Pastry Cream
|Prep time||25 minutes|
|Cook time||35 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
|By author||Tara Deshpande|
- 1/2kg ready to use puff pastry fresh or thawed
- 1.5 cups fresh and chilled pastry cream
- 1 cup fresh fruit compote of your choice like strawberry or apricot. You could also use lemon curd or a thick high quality jam or caramelized bananas
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- mixed fresh fruit segments of your choice. Berries, sliced kiwi, oranges peeled, deseeded and skins removed
- fresh edible flowers or dried edible flowers for decoration
- 1 egg beaten for brushing if desired
- some maida or all purpose flour for dusting
Napoleons are another name for the classic French Mille Feuille, (thousand leaves referring to the many layers of a well made puff pastry), which consists of 3 layers of fine puff pastry layered and baked with pastry cream or creme patissiere and topped with a glaze of confectioners sugar. There are many versions of this dessert found all over Europe, some use caramel, others jams, some add a layer of sponge cake. This dish finds a mention in a 1651 French cookbook Le Cuisinier Francois but it is believed to have been modernized by the famous 19th century chef Marie Careme Antoine. In the U.S.A a simplified version of the Napoleon consists of tiles of puff pastry placed one of the other with various fillings.
Napoleans make elegant individual desserts. You can use custard instead of pastry cream, you can add whipped cream to the dessert as well. If you use caramelized bananas you could enhance it with melted chocolate sauce and caramel sauce. Lemon curd with whipped cream is a delicious combination as well. Mushroom Napoleans are a delicious savory version.Wondering how to make a quick and impressive dessert for a small dinner party. Napoleons are perfect. Buy the puff pastry, cut and bake. Seal pastry tiles in an airtight container and refrigerate. Get you hands on a good quality chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and whipped cream. Throw in some toasted nuts and a few beautifully caramelized bananas. Optionally poach fruit segments in red wine or use a good quality lemon curd with strawberries and whipped cream. Your guests will ooh and aah about this dessert for weeks!
if you have health restrictions please consult your doctor before enjoying the recipe
|Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly dust a clean surface with maida or all purpose flour. Lay over it a piece of parchment cut to the same size as your baking trays. Cut the dough into two equal pieces and keep one covered with a damp cloth. Roll the other piece into a rectangle about 1/5 inch thick over the parchment. Using a sharp knife or pastry cutters or a square or rectangular cookie cutter cut out 9 squares or rectangles. Remove the excess dough and gently lift and place the parchment on the baking tray. Repeat the the remaining dough to create another 9 squares. and place them along with the parchment onto a second baking tray. Brush the face of each tile of pastry lightly with beaten egg if desired.Bake until crispy and golden about 20 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. |
TO ASSEMBLE JUST BEFORE SERVING
On an individual serving plate lay down one square of puff pastry. Using a spoon or if you want a more professional look an icing bag with a large nozzle dollop a tablespoon of pastry cream in the center of the pastry tile. Spread a little using the back of the spoon. Spoon over this cream a tablespoon of fruit compote. lay down a few small pieces of fresh fruit. Top with another pastry tile. Press down ever so gently so the tile sits comfortably over the cream and the compote. Repeat with cream and compote and smaller pieces of fruit. Top with the final tile and press down lightly.
Place a few pieces of fresh fruit in a corner of the plate along with other garnishes like mint leaves and edible flowers.
Lightly dust the entire plate with powdered sugar and serve immediately.