Originally created 05/27/98

Best of the season fills Strawberry Napoleons



Strawberry Napoleons are a version of a favorite pastry, just the thing to satisfy a springtime longing for the first taste of fresh fruit.

Strawberries and cream are components. The berry taste is complemented by the crisp flakiness of the pastry, and the filling elaborates the basic cream by adding vanilla pudding.

Preparation can be simplified: The frozen puff pastry suggested here is available in the grocer's freezer; pastry sheets can be baked ahead of time, so that the Napoleons can be assembled fast, at the last minute.

The recipe can be made using any kind of berry, including blueberries and raspberries, according to what is available and in season.

STRAWBERRY NAPOLEONS

  • [1/2] package (17[1/4]-ounce size) frozen puff pastry (1 sheet)
  • 1 package (about 3[1/2] ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped, or 2 cups thawed frozen nondairy or dairy whipped topping
  • [1/2] cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1[1/2] cups sliced strawberries
  • Thaw pastry sheet at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

    Unfold pastry on lightly floured surface. Cut into 3 strips along fold marks. Place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire rack.

    Prepare pudding mix according to package directions with 1 cup milk. Fold in whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate.

    To prepare icing, mix confectioners' sugar and 2 teaspoons milk in small bowl and set aside.

    Split pastries into 2 layers, making 6 layers in all.

    To make the top layers, spread icing on 2 layers.

    Spread another pastry layer with [3/4] cup pudding mixture. Top with about [1/3] cup strawberries. Repeat layers. Top with an iced pastry layer.

    Repeat to make second dessert.

    Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours.

    Makes 12 servings.

    Note: For easier slicing, refrigerate 1 hour and use a wet serrated knife.

    Recipe from Pepperidge Farm.



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