Sweet and in season: Strawberry Napoleons
This dessert is the perfect spring sweet: it’s delightful, simple to make, looks impressive and the ingredients are in season! You can even use any berries of your choosing. Talk about a fresh and easy treat!
Cream Custard Filling
½ cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)
In a heavy saucepan, bring the sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks and milk to a boil over medium heat. Whisk constantly to avoid scorching. Boil and whisk until the mixture begins to thicken.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. If you wish you may add the Grand Marnier now. Whisk ingredients into warm custard until well combined.
At this point, you want to transfer it into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until ready to assemble Napoleons.
1 Sheet Puff pastry dough, thawed
1 quart fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400°F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the work surface with the flour. Unfold the pastry sheet onto the floured surface. Cut pastry sheet into 3 strips along the fold marks. Place the pastry strips onto the baking sheet. Gently Pierce each sheet several times with a fork.
Bake for 15 minutes or until pastries are golden brown. Remove pastries from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Split the pastries into 3 layers with a fork, making 9 layers in all and cover with parchment paper.
In a medium size mixing bowl, mash 1 cup of strawberries with a fork. Add remaining strawberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla, Toss and set aside to assemble.
Place 1 sheet of puff pastry on serving platter, spread cream filling until pastry is completely covered. Add strawberries and place another sheet of puff pastry and repeat with cream and strawberries for 3 layers. You can also add a glaze on the top layer.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. Yields 2 Napoleons, serves 8 -10.
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