Lemon Berry Napoleon – Is It Good, Why Is It Called Napoleon?

Who here has tried to make three-tiered deserts, cakes included…it’s a little hairy at points, amiright? This week’s recipe by Home.Made.Interest was my first attempt at a three-tier dessert that WASN’T a cake…spoiler alert: I opted to make it two because #scarycustard.

This week’s recipe to try is a Lemon Berry Napoleon. Is it good and why is it called Napoleon? Keep scrolling for the recipe, some helpful first-time bake hacks, and if it makes the cut for recipes I make more than once. Oh, and what will the Hubs say? His review is down near the bottom, too!

The Recipe:

  • 2 sheets Puff Pastry
  • 2 1/4 tsp Powdered gelatin, , unflavored
  • ¼ c Warm water
  • 2 c Heavy Cream
  • 4 Tbsp Powdered sugar
  • 10 oz Lemon Curd
  • 1 c Strawberries
  • 1 c Blueberries
  • 1 c Blackberries
  • 1 c Raspberries
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Lay thawed puff pastry sheet on a floured surface and roll it out into a 12x 12 inch square.
  3. Cut the square into three 12 inch x 4 inch strips and prick them all over with a fork.
  4. Place the puff pastry strips on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  5. Repeat for second puff pastry sheet.
  6. Cover dough with plastic wrap and place back in refrigerator to chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Once chilled remove baking sheets from refrigerator and place in over.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes until the dough begins to turn golden brown then place another baking sheet directly on top of the dough and continue baking for another 6-7 minutes.
  9. Remove the top baking sheet and finish baking for 6-7 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
  10. Remove the puff pastry sheets from the oven and while they are still warm trim the edges of the puff pastry and cut the strips in half making each one 6 inches x 4 inches (approximately).
  11. Cool completely.

LEMON MOUSSE

  1. While the puff pastry cools make the lemon mousse.
  2. Fill a small bowl with the warm water and sprinkle the gelatin over it letting it dissolve.
  3. Whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks then add the powdered sugar and the gelatin.
  4. Continue to whip until it forms stiff peaks.
  5. Gently fold in the lemon curd mixing until it is fully incorporated.

ASSEMBLY

  1. You will use 3 puff pastry pieces for each Napoleon.
  2. Spread lemon mousse over the bottom piece making it about 1/2 inch thick. Top with the next piece and repeat.
  3. Top the third layer of puff pastry with lemon mousse and place on a baking sheet.
  4. Do this for all of the puff pastry and then place your 4 Napoleons in the refrigerator to firm up.
  5. Before serving top with fresh berries.
  6. Enjoy!

Baking Hacks:

  1. If your custard feels unreliable maybe knock down your layers to two instead of three, there’s no shame in modifying. Also, if you give zero shits about if it holds all three puff pastry layers then go for it! I had to bring this to a party and have it sit outside of the fridge for an hour or two so I was suspicious of the third layer.
  2. I cut the 6×4 inch puff pastry rectangles in half to make it a more manageable bite. The shape ended up being more square.
  3. Folding in the lemon curd knocked a bit of air out of the whipped cream, and I think it’s because the curd was stiff coming out of the jar. If I were to make it again I think I would scoop all of the curd out of the jar and into a separate bowl, stir the curd up so it gets fluffed (?) up and then fold into the whipping cream to keep it airy. If you try this idea, let me know if it makes a difference, I’m hopeful!
  4. If you’ve never decorated the tops of flimsy puff pastry layers with multiple pieces of fruit, give yourself grace. It’s not going to look IG cute your first go, and it’s okay 😉

Is It Good?

And would I make it again? Not unless it was requested. No offense to the puff pastry but it’s a damn mess and a pain in the ass to assemble, lol.

Wait, why is it called Napoleon?

Per usual it depends on who you ask, but according to most it has nothing to do with the French conquerer. Instead, “Napoleon translates into “thousand leaves” for its many flaky layers of pastry surrounding its custard cream,” and you can read more about it here if you’re curious.

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