Feuillettés with Berries & Cream

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    12

    individual desserts

Appears in

Like very delicate berry shortcakes, these are a perfect dessert for a dinner party— everything is ready in advance and they take only a few minutes to assemble right before serving. The crème anglaise is a nice refinement, but a lightly sweetened berry purée makes an equally good sauce.

Ingredients

Crème Anglaise

  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 5 large egg yolks

Berry Filling

  • 3 to 4 cups fresh berries (such as a combination of rinsed, hulled, and sliced strawberries; raspberries; and rinsed, picked over, and slightly crushed blueberries)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kirsch or white rum

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar for finishing
  • 1 Baked Puff Pastry Layer, baked in a 12 × 18- inch (25 × 45-cm) pan

Method

  1. For the crème anglaise, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and whisk to mix. Place over low heat and bring to a full rolling boil. Meanwhile, set a fine strainer over a clean glass or stainless-steel bowl and place them near the burner where you are heating the liquids.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl to break them up. When the liquid boils, whisk about 1/3 of it into the yolks. Return the liquid to a boil and, beginning to whisk before pouring, pour the yolk mixture into the boiling liquid. Whisk constantly until the cream thickens slightly, 10 to 15 seconds after adding the yolks. It won’t be very thick—most of the thickening occurs while-it’s cooling. Remove the pan from the heat, never ceasing to whisk. Quickly strain the sauce into the prepared bowl. Remove the strainer and set it over the saucepan. Whisk the sauce continuously for about 30 seconds to cool it down so the yolks won’t scramble. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the crème anglaise.
  3. For the filling, gently toss the berries with the sugar and kirsch. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until assembly.
  4. For the whipped cream, whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until it holds a soft peak. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. Use a 3- inch (7-cm) plain round cutter to cut the baked layer into 24 disks. Don’t worry if some shatter a little—just use those as the bottom layers.
  6. When you are ready to assemble the desserts, place a puff pastry disk on each of 12 dessert plates. Rewhip the cream if necessary and put a small spoonful on each puff pastry disk. Using a slotted spoon, divide the berry mixture among the 12 desserts, placing the berries on the cream. Top each with a spoonful of the cream and place the remaining disks on the cream. Pour a large spoonful or two of the crème anglaise around each of the stacked feuillettés. Lightly dust the top of each one with confectioners’ sugar.

Serving

Serve the feuillettés immediately.

Storage

You can prepare the crème anglaise and roll out the puff pastry the day before, but the layer should be baked and the cream and berries prepared on the day you intend to serve the dessert. I certainly wouldn’t throw away any leftovers, but they won’t taste as fresh the following day.

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