This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
Napoleon was a little guy so I’m not sure why these highly stacked pastries have been so named; perhaps because they pack so much punch in a little package. There aren’t many desserts that are so easy to assemble or so impressive and commanding. Hmmmm. Napoleon anyone?
It’s that easy: I’ve instructed you to use store-bought puff pastry because there are some pretty good packaged puff pastries out there and let’s face it… who wants to make pastry when you have Easter eggs to hide? To sift confectioner’s sugar, place a small handheld sifter in a small bowl, adding the confectioner’s sugar to the sifter. The bowl collects the excess and allows you to sift to your heart’s content.
- 1 box frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed but well chilled
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for garnish
- 10 oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Two 10 oz. jars purchased lemon curd
- 4 pt. mixed berries of your choice, plus more for garnish
- 6 mint sprigs, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Sift sugar over a workspace. Lay the pastry over the sugar. Cut each sheet of the chilled pastry into nine squares (making 18 total) and sprinkle the top with the powdered sugar, making sure they have a good covering on both sides.
- Transfer the pastry to two parchment-lined baking sheets. Spray cooling racks with non-stick spray and lay them upside down over the top of the pastries. The weight will keep the pastry from puffing up too much but still allow them to brown. If you don’t have cooling racks, lay a sheet of parchment over the top of the pastries and place a cookie sheet on top to weigh them down. Refrigerate for 20 minutes to chill the dough and then bake the pastry in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crispy. If you used cookie sheets, remove them and parchment a few minutes earlier and bake until golden.
- Once out of the oven, pull the rack off immediately. Some might stick a little, but you only need 6 pretty tops to make this dessert. Cool completely. The pastry can be baked a day ahead and kept lightly covered at room temperature.
- Whiz the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Over a small bowl, push the raspberry sauce through a fine-mesh strainer with a rubber spatula to remove the seeds and transfer the sauce to a squeeze bottle with a small tip if you have one. Otherwise, just refrigerate the coulis in a covered bowl. The sauce can be made a day or two ahead and kept covered and chilled.
- To assemble the napoleons, place one piece of pastry on a plate and top it with about 2 or 3 Tbsp. of the lemon curd. Add a layer of fresh berries and top them with another pastry layer, lemon curd and berries. Spread about 1 Tbsp. of curd on the bottom of one of the pastry squares and place it firmly on top, pressing down gently to compress the stack. At this point, you can keep the assembled napoleons in the fridge for up to 2 hours. To plate the dessert, squirt a splash of raspberry coulis on the center of the plate and place a napoleon on top. Garnish the dessert plate with extra berries and mint and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve immediately.