Wednesday, September 26, 2007
We went apple, grape and raspberry picking this last weekend at Milborn Orchards. The grapes were phenomenal! And I came home with a beautiful box of raspberries.
The first thought that ran through my head was "Napoleons!!!"
It was my first attempt at puff pastry and mille feuille, aka Napoleons. I clearly remember the first time I ate a Napoleon. I was in 10th grade, sleeping over at a friend's house and her parents had just returned from NY city bringing back a big boxful of pastries from a fancy shmancy bakery. I got to have the Napoleon and oh my god, it was one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. I continued to have an obsession with Napoleons and came across this intriguing recipe on Tartlette's blog last week. I took it as a sign and I gave it a go.
I was up at 6 am, translating grams into our silly english measurements and measuring out crazy shit like 3/4 cup + 1 T + 1 t butter and 2/3 c - 1 T flour, etc. Maybe it's time to get a scale?
Rolling out the dough encased in butter block wasn't intuitive to me. The butter block softened much more quickly than the dough block so whenever I rolled it, the butter block would all squish to the edges. Maybe that's why it's usually the inverse of this inverted recipe. I probably should thrown it in the fridge to firm it up a bit too. But after the 4th hour of rolling, folding and chilling, I had a nice looking dough:
I baked it according to directions by sandwiching the dough between baking sheets to keep it from puffing up. My result was a somewhat heavy and dense puff pastry. It's probably how I rolled out the dough or that the dough got too warm or that my pan was too heavy but the pastry wasn't fall apart flaky bits of heavenly lightness which was disappointing. I decided to cut each piece in half thickwise to lighten it up a bit.
I whipped up some heavy cream with sugar and got out my lemon curd and proceeded to layer. It was good but, again, not the light airy pastry orgasm I had a long time ago. I'll have to fiddle around and maybe get a book out on puff pastry. Note to self: here's a nice video, showing a logical way to make it and here is an illustrated recipe.