Saturday, February 14, 2015

♥ Custard Filled Neapolitans

I love making little pastries and freezing them for when unexpected guests arrive during the holidays. I just take them out of the freezer and in 10 minutes they are completely thawed. Don't be afraid to make French Pastries. They are all the same basic ingredients starting with puffed pastry and a cream custard filling. These are delicious and easy to make. Serve large ones or cut them into small squares and put them on a pretty tray. 


Custard Filled Neapolitans

Puff Pastry:

1/2 of a 17 1/4-ounce package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Unfold puff pastry sheet and trim edges to a 9-inch square. Cut pastry into nine 3-inch squares. Transfer pastry squares to the prepared baking sheets; prick pastry. Bake in a preheated oven for 18-23 minutes, or until golden. Carefully remove pastries from baking sheet. Cool on a rack. 

Cream Filling:

1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup half and half or light cream
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whipping cream

In a heavy, medium saucepan stir together sugar, flour, and salt. Slowly stir in half-and-half or light cream. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Slowly stir about half of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return all to saucepan. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap and cool just until warm without stirring. In a small mixing bowl beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into warm pastry cream.

For Vanilla Glaze:

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons boiling water

In a medium mixing bowl combine confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough boiling water to make a glaze of spreading consistency; set aside.

Chocolate Drizzle Topping: 

1 1/2 tablespoons melted semisweet chocolate

Use the tines of a fork to separate each pastry square horizontally into 2 or 3 layers. (I did 2 layers in the photo). Spread about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the pastry cream on the bottom layer. Top with middle pastry layers if making 3 layers. Spread another 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of the pastry cream on each middle layer. Finally, top with remaining pastry layers. Spread glaze over top of napoleons, then drizzle with melted chocolate. Chill up to 1 hour. If you want the effect I have used in the photo, simply make lines with the chocolate and then run a thin skewer or long toothpick through the drizzled chocolate.

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