There are many variations of the Napoleon pastry. We are fond of apricots and think that they compliment sourness of the lemon custard.
Serving Size: 4
For the pastry
- 6 sheets frozen puff pastry
- 2 tbs. powdered sugar
- rice or beans to “blind bake” the pastry
- 2 sheets of baking parchment
For the lemon custard
- 3/4 cup lemon juice
- zest from 3 lemons
- 1/4 cup water
- 6 tbs. sugar
- 3 tbs. corn flour
- 1 very very small pinch (like the top of a knife) turmeric
for the apricot custard
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbs. apricot nectar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- splash lemon juice
Make the apricot and lemon fillings at least 1 hour ahead of time in order for them to cool down.
For the pastry:
- Place 1 sheet of baking parchment on a cookie sheet.
- Place the sheets of puff pastry on the baking parchment and put the 2nd sheet of parchment over them.
- Place a layer of beans or rice on the parchment in order to keep the puff pastry from puffing up.
- Bake the pastry for 15 minutes in a 220 (C) oven.
- After 15 minutes, remove the top layer of paper and the beans or rice and continue baking the pastry for another 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool down
For the lemon custard:
- Put the lemon juice in a small pan.
- Mix the water with the corn starch until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Add this to the lemon juice.
- Add the sugar to the juice and the turmeric and zest.
- Turn the heat on and begin stirring.
- Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened (about 5-6 minutes).
- Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool in he refrigerator.
For the apricot custard:
- Place the apricot pieces, nectar and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
- Cook on a gentle heat until the apricots are very soft.
- Puree the mixture in a blender and return to the saucepan.
- Using about 2-3 tablespoons of apricot nectar, mix the cornstarch until it is dissolved.
- Add the cornstarch mixture to the apricots and heat until the apricot mixture becomes thick.
- Remove from the heat and pour into a bow.
- Place the bowl in the refrigerator to cool.
To build the Napoleons:
- Very carefully cut the pastry sheets in half which will give an oblong shape.
- This will give 12 individual long rectangles.
- Spread a layer of lemon custard on each bottom slice of puff pastry (4 slices).
- Carefully put the next slice of puff pastry on top of the lemon custard.
- Spread the apricot mouse on top of the 2nd layer of puff pastry.
- Place the 3rd layer on top of the apricot mouse and dust the top generously with powdered sugar.
- They can be decorated with pieces of apricot, or mint leaves or sprinkle a bit of lemon zest.
This type of pastry is also called a “mille-feuille” in France. That means thousand sheets, referring to the puff pastry.