It’s a Napoleon. Not THAT Napoleon…

I have gushed about my affection for different foods in previous posts.  You must believe me, though, when I share my absolute adoration for all things pastry.  Pastry is a last-meal-on-earth kind of thing for me.  (At least part of it, anyway.  It’s not all that exclusive a list, really.)

He looks like a real charmer, doesn’t he?

When I first tried this recipe out on my wife, I think she might have cried a little bit (and not like that time she tried the gumbo).  It’s not just me this time.  I brought it to her just minutes after the pastry came out of the oven, the cherry sauce was still warm and the cream was perfectly chilled.  It was as perfect as a non-chocolate dessert can be.

 

Mini Cherry Vanilla Napoleons

  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, defrosted (I use Pepperidge farm.  I can make the stuff, but it is a colossal pain.)
  • 1 recipe Vanilla Cream (see below)
  • 1 recipe Cherry Sauce (see below)
  • 1 egg beaten with a little water
  • granulated sugar
  • powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take a 1 inch biscuit cutter and cut as many rounds as you can out of the puff pastry dough.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and space out the rounds evenly on it.  Lightly brush each of them with the egg wash and then sprinkle with some granulated sugar.  Bake for 8 or 9 minutes or until the are puffed up and golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Cut 3 of the puffs in half horizontally.  Take one of the bottoms, spoon on a cherry, some cream and then top with one of the other pieces.  Then spoon on more cherry, more cream and then top with one of the tops.  Repeat this with the remaining pieces and you should have 2 completed desserts with 3 layers of pastry each.  Do this with the remaining puffs. 

Sift some powdered sugar over the tops of them and try to make them last more than 20 minutes, I dare you.

Vanilla Cream

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Beat cream cheese with sugar until light and fluffy.  Fold in the whipped cream and vanilla. 

Cherry Sauce

  • 8 ounces sweet cherries (frozen works fine in this)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water (if needed)

In a small sauce pan, dissolve the sugar in the water over medium heat.  Allow the syrup to come to a boil and let it simmer and it will eventually thicken a bit.  Add the frozen cherries and lemon juice.  Some times this will thicken into a nice saucy consistency and other times I have to bring the mixture back to a simmer and then add the cornstarch and water slurry (don’t you love that word?).  The cornstarch will thicken it the rest of the way.