By Gourmet Nun
It’s strawberry time, and our strawberry patch has been producing tub after tub of beautiful berries every morning . . . a delight to look at, let alone to eat. Of course, no strawberry dessert will ever top old fashioned strawberry shortcake, in my opinion, but if you’d like to try a creation that runs it a close second, these strawberry napoleons are simple to make and delicious to eat.
1 sheet (half of a 17-ounce package) frozen puff pastry
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract or amaretto to taste
1 cup heavy cream
Powdered sugar to taste
2 cups stemmed and sliced strawberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thaw folded pastry sheet for 20 minutes. Open sheet and cut along folds to make three equal strips; halve each strip to make six rectangles. Space apart on baking sheet. Bake in center of oven about 15 minutes until well browned and baked through. Remove to rack to cool.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whip heavy cream and powdered sugar together until cream is stiff. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk pudding mix, milk, and extract together for 2 minutes; fold in whipped cream and blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate.
Carefully split each piece of pastry in half horizontally. Cover bottom halves with almonds, then pudding mixture and sliced strawberries, dividing equally. Cover with pastry tops. Dust with powdered sugar.
*You could double the pudding mixture and use both sheets of puff pastry for more Napoleons. I ended up using all of my puff pastry to be able to have additional layers for each Napoleon.
This recipe makes 3 servings.