Last weekend these little wild strawberry jewels were just beckoning in the sun along with redcurrants and mint from the garden. It didn’t take long to find inspiration for a quick dessert from Bernard Loiseau’s “Cuisine en Famille“; I love this book (also as it’s signed by his wife, Dominique), even if the only problem is that there are absolutely no photos: you have to imagine in your head what the final result should be for each recipe. On the other hand, there’s no “pressure” – just use your creativity and imagination and you’re doing fine. It’s the flavour that counts.
This started out as his peppermint ice-cream with strawberries but as I began making the cream, another horrible migraine decided to interrupt the recipe. As it had the same quantities initially, it was quickly adapted as a crème pâtissière (pastry cream) and sandwiched between ready-made puff pastry cut into rounds using a cookie cutter. (OK, I cheated with ready-made pastry, but there are times when it’s essential.) The result was a pastry dessert ready in no time. It’s perhaps not top of the fashionable pastry boutique parade in Paris, but the taste certainly made up for it!
Peppermint Millefeuille with Fraises des Bois
Preparation Time: 15 minutes (+1 hour infusion)
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
50cl whole milk
4 egg yolks
1 large branch of peppermint
500g pure butter puff pastry (or 2 packets ready rolled pastry rounds)
- Take the leaves off the peppermint branch, wash and dry them carefully.
- Boil the milk with the mint leaves, take off the heat and leave the leaves to infuse for 1 hour with the lid on.
- Beat together the egg yolks and sugar until light and creamy, then whisk in the cornflour.
- Remove the leaves from the milk with a slotted spoon then beat some of the milk into the egg mixture. Transfer this to the milk and over a medium heat, continue to whisk for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
- Set aside the custard to cool, whisking every so often so that no skin forms on top. Once cool, transfer the cream to a piping bag.
- Meanwhile, cut small rounds from a pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry (or roll a block of puff pastry to about 2mm) using a 7cm cookie/scone cutter. For one round I could get 15 discs: you shall need 3 per person.
- Place each disc on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Place another sheet of baking parchment over the discs and top with another baking sheet to stop the pastry discs from puffing in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden (I cooked mine for 15 which was a bit too much, as you can see.)
- Leave the pastry discs to cool, then pipe out the pastry cream on each layer and top with the fruits.
- Finish off with a dusting of icing sugar.
Store the egg whites in a sterilised jam jar with the lid on and keep in the fridge for 3-4 days until you’re ready to make your macarons…
See Mad About Macarons, Wimbledon and Wild Strawberrieson Le Blog.