Baking| Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans … ♥Happy V Day♥

“Gastronomy is and always has been connected with its sister…
…art of love.”

M.F.K. Fisher

Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans14th morning is always an action replay of the days gone by. He will come and announce {without fail} that we first met on the 13th of Feb many years ago. 21 years!! Can’t believe it’s been that long. Mr PAB has a memory that astounds me,  and in many ways is my personal journal – birthdays, anniversaries, who died when etc, each day with marked by an event significant to the time elapsed. He offers me time-lines whether I want it or not, often a balm to my cluttered mind. I do the more mundane practical stuff –  insurances, bank work, bills, payday for Man Friday, the gardener etc!Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansRed is the colour of passion or so they say. IMHO, V Day is much over-hyped and a commercial oversell for new lovers! Me? Give me the vibrant colours of nature and I’m inspired. Roasted red bell pepper sauce, a fiery yet sweet Sriracha {finally made it and it’s yum!}, strawberries … all colour my world. {Daughters red painting too!}redI am far from a mushy V Day person, yet there’s something magnetic about all the red one sees around this time of the year. It tends to get to me, making me obsess about a Valentine Day special, for PAB though. Blogs are resplendent with sweetheart desserts, one more charming than the other,  often more amazing than any you’ve ever seen, and they egg me on to post some love on V Day too.Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansI fell for the trap of this love filled or rather love-fueled day. More red & more lv after the heart shaped Strawberry Meringue Chocolate Layer Cake. The bazaar is still flooded with the most gorgeous red strawberries, the second annual wave in India every year. The fruit & veggie vendor, or fruitwala, is a persuasive fellow, charming me with the shiny red berry. Knocks off a fraction of the price. ‘Specially for you,‘ he says. In my heart I know he says this to many regulars, but I get talked into it and come back in a gleeful mood.Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansWhat shall I make is the eternal question? Waffles are really on top of my list since I saw El’s gorgeous Belgian Waffles post, but after a headless chicken dance on soccer Saturday, a Sunday morning waffle exercise falls flat. By the time we get our act together, it’s almost time for lunch. The teen has been up doing art work since 5am and at 8am decides its time for nap number 2. Wild horses can’t drag the dieting diva out of bed … so dessert it has to be!Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansRough puff pastry in the freezer is a bad thing, possibly worse than I ever thought it would be. Do you think so too? It has hypnotizing powers and is the easiest thing to have in the freezer. Did me in for World Nutella Day when I made Nutella Strawberry Puff Pastry Hearts. It threw me a line of temptation yesterday too. Quick check of the fridge revealed low fat cream, home made easy lemon curd, strawberries and of course rough puff pastry! Time for mille fueille, the classic French dessert which holds endless charm, and one I’ve never baked before. Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansIf you have puff pastry on hand, this is an indulgent dessert on fast track. I used whipped lemon curd cream instead of pastry cream, the latter I think is quintessential to the classic version. Also cut out a few hearts on top to go with the V Day theme, gave the tops a brushing of egg yolk, and sprinkled some vanilla sugar on top {which you can see got caramelised}. I suppose regular puff pastry would yield a more layered Napoleon vis-a-vis rough puff pastry, but the later is simpler to make at home and is fine with me.Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans

The Napoleon is a pastry made of many layers of puff pastry with filling alternating the layers. It can be eaten as a dessert, or even as a decadent meal. As a French pastry it is called mille-feuilles, or thousand leaves, and it is usually filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, and fruit preserves – most often raspberry jam. The topping may be simply powdered sugar, or a layer of fondant, often with strings of chocolate drawn into a chevron design. In Italy, where the pastry is thought to have originated in Naples, it is called mille foglie (again, thousand leaves), and contains a similar layering like the mille-feuilles of cream, pastry cream, and fruit preserves. A traditional napoleon is filled with plain pastry cream but if desired you may add a thin layer of fruit preserves such as seedless raspberry or strawberry jam or preserves to the filling.

Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd NapoleansStrawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans
200ml low fat cream
200gms strawberries, sliced
1 egg yolk lightly whisked with a fork for glaze

Vanilla sugar for sprinkling {optional}

Method:
Roll out the puff pastry to a 1/4″ height, trim the edges, and cut into 9 equal rectangles. Cut out hearts in 3 of them if you like, and place rectangles and cut out hearts on a baking tray.
Place tray in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 225C.
Brush the pastry with the glaze, sprinkle with vanilla sugar if using, and bake for 20-25 minutes till puffy and golden.
Cool on racks, and then carefully split each horizontally into 2 with a sharp knife. or the tines of a fork. {You can get 3 layers if you use regular and not rough puff pastry}
Whip the cream to medium peak, and then gently but thoroughly fold in the lemon curd. The cream should thicken quite well now. {You won’t need to add sugar as the lemon curd is quite sweet on it’s own.}
Reserve the heart cut out layers for the pastry tops. {I used the tops and bottoms to give me ♥ cut out tops}
Spread about 1 1/2 tbsp of the whipped lemon curd cream on the bottom layer, and layer with strawberry slices. Top with a middle layer of pastry. Repeat and finally top with remaining pastry layers. Garnish with sliced strawberries if you like. Chill up to 1 hour.Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans

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Comments

  1. What a gorgeous looking dessert for Valentine’s Day! Love the splash of hearts and red here Deeba! Though I am not much of a believer in celebrating this day, it still makes me want to make something with some red in it.

    Dieting diva!! Lol!!

  2. Kudos to Mr. PAB’s memory that he remembers the D day still, how romantic! Lucky you, Deeba. Am off to get some puff pastry and make these delectable dessert for my Valentine of 20 years :) Love the fiery red array of food out there. Happy V day to you and your loved ones.

  3. I agree with you – i’m not a particularly mushy person but yes, seeing red for valentine’s day does inspire one somehow :)

  4. That looks delightful! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  5. nice!! love that combination of crisp with smooth cream.

  6. The strawberry pastry recipe looks amazing, but I don’t think my skill level is high enough to attempt it. I’m also the only one in my house that really likes strawberry, and it’s not very good to be the only one who likes a particular dessert!

  7. Happy V day to you and your special guy, Deeba! He sounds very sweet :) Love the napoleans. The colours and the textures look amazing… now if only I could taste test…….

  8. Happy Valentine’s Day, Deeba! Love the Lemon Curd Napoleans. They would be perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day. I love all the red colour, too….powerful in all ways when talking about love :D By the way, thanks very much for inspiring me to make macarons. I promised myself to take the challenge this year and I did….for Valentine’s Day! :D I tried 6 times the past week. I think I am 80% there. Hope to get perfect macaroons soon. Love all your baking and your blog, Deeba. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. I do love having puff pastry in the freezer, but I’m afraid mine is not homemade! It’s great to have on hand to quickly make savory or sweet tarts.

  10. Quite an elegant dessert, sooooo gorgeous..Happy Valentine’s Day to U..

  11. Wow..these looks so good and tempting ….as always wonderful clicks

  12. Oh WOW!! these looks soo good and tempting..there goes my diet! =)
    * Happy Valentine,s Day*

  13. These look amazing, Deeba! I’d love to reach in through the screen and grab one of them.

  14. These look positively delectable – such gorgeous photography! I particularly like the idea of a slightly tart lemon curd offsetting the sweet caramelised pastry. The heart cutouts are a cute touch too :)

  15. Happy Cook says:

    Happy V Day Deeba Dear. Not that I am a V person, wow I am sure all the women are Big J that you have Mr PAB as most of the men forget special days. I dont let mine forget the b’day and anniiversay as we hava a calendar in the WC wall were we write all the b’day and special occasions so no one can forget them :-)

  16. Happy Cook says:

    Is the layout of the blog wrong as i see the coments on the side than the usual below.

  17. Have a wonderful day Deeba. I am sure your husband will rememberm and yes having puff pastry in the freezer is dangerous to iyr healthy promises to ourselves.

  18. What a charming post. :) Beautiful treat.

  19. WOW!! For someone who doesn’t care for Valentine’s Day you sure do go whole hog and all romantic on us! Gorgeous, just absolutely gorgeous! Oh now these fabulous Napoléons have me inspired, have me dreaming…. oh lucky Mr. Man. Lucky thing he’s romantic, at least. And you are so funny, you sound just like JP, so practical, pragmatic and so utterly unsentimental yet underneath the big words and the rolled eyes you are both so romantic deep down, aren’t you? Happy V Day, my dear, my lovely sistah! xo

  20. Strawberries are in season in my local area, and so I’m on the prowl for wonderful ways to use them … starting with these gorgeous creations, Deeba. Your excellent (and reassuring) preparation instructions give me confidence that I can conquer these little Napoleons!

  21. I could devour the lot right about now, lol! And lucky you that you have such lush strawberries at this time of year.

  22. You really outdid yourself this time Deeba! These look ridiculously AMAZING!

  23. Love your photography and the story telling….your daughter is very talented. Love the bag…Hope you had a brilliant V day… I’m making some brownies now…

  24. that looks so lovely. I could probably eat all of them.

  25. These looks amazing. I love how you have added red into your pictures too. Fabulous.

  26. Happy Valentine’s Day Deeba.. Agree.. why not celebrate :)) just another excuse to have fun :)

    I LOVE your daughter’s painting!!!

  27. Happy Heart Day to you!
    Your labours of love are gorgeous. The little heart cut outs are my favourite part! So sweet. The RED collage is also stunning!
    I can imagine your family sitting around the table together enjoying the time, each other, and this incredible treat tonight!
    :)
    Valerie

  28. So beautiful and creative. I love all the photography you share with us. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  29. These look delicious as usual. I struggle to get 4-5 good shots and you’ve got a whole collage. I especially love the 5th photo where the napoleons are disappearing into the dark background. Do you mind me asking how you achieved that shadowy lighting? Thanks in advance Deeba.

    • Thank you Sukaina. Collage because I am a bit obsessive about taking pictures I think. I enjoy doing that as much as I do baking. The dark background is actually a piece of marble which forms the backdrop of my letter box at the gate. The door fell off ages ago, so I use that as little photo studio sometimes. Hope that’s the one you are talking about, and hope I’m making sense. Otherwise, it’s still shotting in auto!

  30. Wow, I wonder if there’s more pressure or less pressure if you meet someone the day before Valentine’s Day? I guess it could go either way. But there’s no doubt about these cute little napoleons. They would brighten anyone’s day no matter what day it was. ;)

    • Thankfully in those days in India, V Day was still unknown largely … and thankfully so. No pressure, and what a life that was! Now everything is just so different, isn’t it?

  31. M. Singh says:

    I was referred to you by ‘Happy Cook (http://www.blogger.com/profile/12122357811540919609). I’ve been inspired by all the lovely recipes (esp. the granola bar in the previous post!) for baked goodies to try my hand at it. Could you please tell me which brand of OTG or Electric Oven you would recommend to buy in India. Thanks for your help!

    • Thank you Malini. Finla is a sweetheart.
      I have a Morphy Richards 40L OTG, that I bought from here locally, though it is an import from the UK. Cost me about Rs7900 last year.
      Hope this helps…happy baking!

  32. This is beautiful as always! I would love to be a guest in your home to be served such beautiful (and I’m sure delicious) food! I

  33. So, so beautiful, Deeba. I love the flavors of lemon and strawberry together. They’re perfect compliments to each other.

  34. Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog says:

    Just to pass here to say Hi! and I go on fixing the new WP.

    Hope Deeba you’ve had a gorgeous Valentine’s Day! :)

    With that companion of strawberry-Napoleans I’m sure you had it :)

    All the best,

    Gera

  35. 21 years?!! WOW and how romantic is it to meet just a day before the valentines day!! You have many many years more to go together!!
    LOve these just like I love the rest of all your lovely recipes Deeba!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  36. What gorgeous textures & tastes you’ve put together in this one Deeba. I’d find that very hard to resist if presented to me on V Day (or any other day I think). Aren’t red & white with a touch of gold just the best colour combo’s . Beautiful photos :)

  37. Now that is a gorgeous dessert, Deeba! And a perfect way to express Valentine’s Day to your loved ones.
    Your photos and collage are amazing, as usual.

  38. that’s so sweet, Deeba, and bravo to Mr PAB for remembering such moments. love the napoleons, you know how much i adore lemon curd! xxx shayma

  39. A spectacular Valentine’s dessert. Love the addition of lemon curd to the cream.

  40. Whilst I agree that Valentine’s has become overly commercialized (and a holiday we don’t celebrate), I still try to make something “heart” themed each year. As you say, there’s something seductive about the colour red splashed everywhere you look! Also it’s one of the times where I can make girly heart cupcakes/cookies/toast and Ray can’t object! :P Missed out this year due to work, but looking forward to next year.

  41. Amazing…ur a fantastic baker and ur family is sooo blessed to have u:-)
    Aww ,i love the love in the air but for its more like love in the air by 365 for a lifetime!
    And sure i love hearts , pink and red , polka and checks , all year thru , i see pink and red hearts popping when i walk too (on air )…lol!
    Omg , how romantic is that , 13th Feb!
    Ur hubby is really good!
    Out here my mom does both those duties ,,lol, the remembering all sorts of dates ,and she’s good , and the payouts et all !
    Though banking is sometimes handed to me thanxx to internet baking :-)dont fancy gng to banks anyway :-)

  42. These look so incredible and SO elegant! Wonderful job! :D

  43. Absolutely stunning post! Thanks for the inspiration!

  44. Such lovely napoleons, they sound incredible with the whipped lemon curd! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s day celebration!

  45. Erika says:

    These look so good, I have to try this. Your blog is great. Fun recipes, great pictures, I really enjoy it. Oh and speaking of Lemon curd, you should try Nutella with lemon curd on graham crackers. Its really great and my kids love it. No my kids are not little. :)

  46. Those Napoleans look so so so amazingly delish! I wanna reach out and grab one to eat right now! Great job!!

  47. O your napoleons look delicious! Love it!

  48. Brittany says:

    I have such a “thing” for lemon curd at the moment and these little napoleans show it off beautifully. I love your presentation – like always.

  49. Krista says:

    Deeba, your pictures always make me happy. ALWAYS. :-) I really hope you do a recipe book one day because I’d spend many a happy hour just paging through. :-)

  50. I think it is so lovely that your hubbs remembers all the special days… not mine LOL, but that’s okay, I still love him. Delicious desert as always.
    *kisses* HH

  51. Awesome! Thanks so much for linking up your great recipes to the Valentine’s party! :-)

  52. Lovely post.
    Love those little hearts. and they way you’ve used them creatively in your post.

  53. wow, these look so tasty. I love the little heart cut-outs in the puff pastry – adorable!

  54. Yummy recipe.
    How am I supposed to loss weight with such gastronomic wonders you make. It seems like I need to join your daughter on her diet :-)

  55. I’ve missed a few posts here so am catching up! These of course caught my eye – a lovely way to use up puff pastry! I love putting this together when I have a few leftover ingredients. Makes a stunning dessert! You make this look beautiful.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Deeba Rajpal, An. An said: RT @ramblingtart: Sounds heavenly, Deeba! RT @vindee: Baking| Strawberry & Whipped Lemon Curd Napoleans ♥Happy V Day♥ http://dlvr.it/GWdlj […]

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