Millefeuille of cherries and almond cream

Millefeuille of cherries and almond cream

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

This millefeuille is a real show-stopper. If you don’t have time to make the sabayon and mint oil, these pastries can be served simply with a dusting of icing sugar. Any seasonal fruit can be substituted for the cherries: raspberries or small strawberries can be used fresh without cooking in the sugar and butter, and caramelised poached pears work well in the same way.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Puff pastry
extra flour, to dust
1/2 quantity see method for ingredients, using almond cream variation

For the cherries

Quantity Ingredient
400g cherries
20g unsalted butter
15g soft light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kirsch

For the mint oil

Quantity Ingredient
small bunch mint
150ml sunflower oil

For the sabayon

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar
25ml champagne
25ml double cream

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Roll out the chilled puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle, 2mm thick. Trim the edges and transfer to a baking tray. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then place another baking tray on top of the pastry. You might need to cut the pastry in half and cook half at a time if it is too big.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until cooked through and deep golden. Carefully remove the top baking tray and let the pastry cool before cutting into 12 rectangles, each 5 x 7.5cm.
  4. Stone the cherries and put with the butter, sugar and Kirsch in a small saucepan over a low heat. Let the butter and sugar melt to a sauce and warm the cherries, then take off the heat.
  5. Pick the leaves from the mint and blanch in boiling water for a few seconds, then refresh in cold water. Drain and place with the oil in a blender. Blend well to break down the mint, leave to infuse for 30 minutes, then strain through a muslin-lined sieve.
  6. For the sabayon, put the egg yolks, sugar and half the Champagne in a heatproof bowl big enough to sit over a saucepan of simmering water. Set the bowl over the pan, making sure the base is not in direct contact with the water.
  7. Using a hand-held electric whisk, whisk the mixture for up to 10 minutes until it has increased in volume and is light and mousse-like. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is cool (this will take several minutes).
  8. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold it into the sabayon with the remaining Champagne. Chill until ready for use (but for no longer than 2 hours).
  9. To assemble the dish, place the almond cream in a piping bag fitted with a 5mm plain nozzle and pipe the cream in neat lines on top of 8 pastry rectangles, ensuring all the pastry is covered.
  10. Cover the 8 almond cream topped pastries with a layer of cherries. Carefully stack these cherry topped pastries in pairs, then top each with a final pastry rectangle to create 4 individual millefeuille. Dust the tops with icing sugar.
  11. Carefully transfer to individual plates. Spoon any remaining cherries and sauce to the side of each millefeuille, then spoon 1–2 tbsp sabayon over the cherries. Drizzle a few drops of the mint oil around each before serving.
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