For those of you who attended our sold-out cooking class on Thursday, we all agreed that the dessert was the best part of the meal. This dessert is part of a three-course dinner that I designed for an elegant summer dinner party in your backyard or on your rooftop. Make sure you read the rest of the posts to get the recipes for the Summer Corn bisque with fresh tomato salsa and the Scrod en Papillote with herbed Quinoa.
I like to start with dessert since you should bake you puff pastry and macerate you berries a day before therefore I am posting this recipe first. This way you can begin to prepare a day or two in advance.
You should start by purchasing your favorite puff pastry if you don’t have the time or desire — I find Pillsbury puff pastry to be just fine. You will also need one egg for brushing your pastry prior to baking. Preheat your oven to 475. Beat one egg and add a teaspoon of water — set aside. Cut your pastry into 2 1/ by 4 inch strips — approximately. Lay out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet – at least 1/2 apart.
Once brushed lightly with egg wash — place in oven and set timer for 5 to 7 minutes. You’ll know your pastry is finished when the pastry has risen exposing the layers in between the golden top and golden bottom. Once finished, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Use whatever is in season and you can also purchase high quality fresh or organic berries at most gourmet stores. Berries on the North Fork do not appear until July but you can begin to find strawberries in June — especially at the Strawberry Festival held at the Strawberry field in Mattituck from June 19th to the 21st. A combination of strawberries, blueberries along with the whipped cream is the perfect red, white and blue dessert for Memorial Day weekend or Fourth of July.
For four Napoleons you will need four slices of the baked pastry and 1/2 cup of berries per serving to total 2 cups of berries. Add one tablespoon of your favorite Raspberry or berry liquor along with a 1/2 teapsoon of Rosewater which you can buy in some gourmet shops. Mix and refridgerate until time to compose the Napoleons.
Whipping the cream
Whip 1/2 cup of heavy cream with 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar — whip to stiff peaks and refridgerate.
Assemble 1/2 hour prior to serving.
Split puff pastry in halves horizontally by pulling off the top. Fill with dollop of whip cream and cover with berries. Put lid on cream and berry mixture and add another dollop of cream and top with more berries. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.
This dessert is perfect with a glass of bubbly from Lenz Vineyards. If you are lucky enough to meet the acclaimed Eric Fry, ask him to tell you about the 2002 Cuvvee, Methode Champenoise. It’s 70 percent Pinot Noir and 30 percent Chardonnay. Make sure that you keep it on ice so that it’s perfectly chilled upon serving with this dessert!