From Charlie Palmer’s Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen


FOR THE BERRIES

  • 2 pt strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered
  • 1 pt blueberries, rinsed
  • 1 pt blackberries, rinsed
  • 1 pt raspberries, rinsed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice

FOR THE PASTRY

  • 1 10 x 12 inch-frozen puff pastry

FOR THE VANILLA CUSTARD CREAM

  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped out and reserved
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 2 t all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ c heavy whipping cream

Confectioner’s sugar

BERRIES
Combine the berries in a large, shallow dish. Sprinkle with the sugar and lemon juice and toss gently. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

Process 3 cups of the berries in a blender until pureed. Mix the puree with the remaining whole berries.

PASTRY
Preheat the over to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with cooking parchment.

Cut the pastry into three 4x10-inch rectangles. Place on the baking sheet and prick them several times with a fork. Cover with another sheet of parchment and a second baking sheet, and place a weight on top.

Bake the pastry for 10 minutes, then reduce the over temperature to 325 F and bake for 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the pastry is fully cooked and crisp throughout. Remove the top baking sheet and let the pastry cool on a rack.

VANILLA CUSTARD CREAM
In a saucepan, scald the milk with the vanilla pod and seeds.

Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and flour. Whisk in a little of the milk into the egg mixture to the pan of the milk and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, about 30 seconds. Continue to whisk as you remove the pan from the heat, then strain the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until well chilled.

Whip the cream to stiff peaks and fold it into the chilled pastry cream.

TO ASSEMPLBE THE NAPOLEON
Place a piece of pastry on a platter. Spoon half the cream over it, then top with half the berries. Repeat. Top with the last piece of pastry; dust with confectioner’s sugar.