Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Mille Foglie - Napoleons / Pastry Cream Filling

There is a ton of Easter leftovers in the fridge.
And another ton of chocolate bunnies, eggs and assorted shapes on the counter.
No need to do any baking now.
Perfect time to sit down and read an 'I'll never make that' recipe for relaxation.

And where better to find a recipe like that than in Bobby Bacala's chapter
If I Couldn't Eat, I'd F**king Die in Artie Bucco's The Sopranos Family Cookbook?
Ahh… Mille Foglie.

I've usually bought Napoleons at a bakeshop.
I'm more familiar with them being iced with vanilla and chocolate stripes.
A knife would be dragged through, in opposite directions, to jazz up its appearance.
This is simpler - just a dusting of confectioners' sugar.

Whom am I kidding?
There's nothing simpler than going to the bakeshop.

The plastic wrap is pressed onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming.
It would work with homemade puddings, too.
If that sort of thing bothers you.

                        Mille Foglie

Serves 8

For the Pastry Cream

In a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a simmer
1 Cup milk
1/4 Cup sugar
Stir to dissolve the sugar.
Remove from the heat.

In a large heatproof bowl whisk together
3 large egg yolks
1 Cup milk

Place in a sieve
1/4 Cup flour
Sift the flour over the egg yolks.
Whisk until smooth.
Gradually beat in the hot milk.
Transfer the mixture to the saucepan and return it to the stove.
Over medium heat cook, stirring constantly, until it comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat and cook another 30 seconds.
Remove from the heat and stir in
2 teaspoons vanilla

Place the cream in a bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the cream.
Refrigerate until chilled.

For the Pastry

On a lightly floured surface place
1 pound frozen all-butter puff pastry (thawed)
Roll out to a 14 x 12 inch rectangle.
Place the pastry on a large ungreased baking sheet.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400ยบ

With a fork, prick the dough all over.
Invert another ungreased baking sheet on top of the dough.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet, prick the dough again.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Slide the pastry onto a rack and cool completely.

Place the pastry on a cutting board.
With a serrated knife, using a sawing motion, cut the pastry into 3 equal strips.
Place one strip on a serving platter.
Spread half of the pastry cream on it.
Top with a second strip and the remaining pastry cream.
Place the remaining strip on top.
Refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving.

Sprinkle the Mille Foglie generously with
Confectioners' sugar

With a serrated knife, using a sawing motion, cut into 1 1/2 inch slices and serve.

Would I make Mille Foglie again?
Ah, no.
But the pastry cream would be nice in a tart shell.
Maybe topped with a fresh strawberry or a few raspberries.
And the cooled cream's skin wouldn't bother me at all.

One recipe down.  Twenty-seven more to go.

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