Avocado-portabella napoleon with lavash
layers. Photo © Delicious Knowledge |
California Avocado Commission
When most of us think of napoleons, we think of a mille-feuille (millefoglie in Italian), filled with custard.
Mille-feuille means “thousand leaves,” three rectangular sheets of puff pastry spread with Bavarian cream, pastry cream, whipped cream, custard, jam or fruit purée, often dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and cut into individual rectangular portions. When filled with custard and iced with chocolate, the pastry is called a napoleon.
But there are savory napoleons too. And in this recipe by Alexandra Caspero | Redux Recipe for the California Avocado Commission, they’re a lot easier to make than their pastry counterparts.
The mille-feuille is most likely a descendant of layered phyllo pastries like baklava. It is believed that the napoleon, and mille-feuille pastry, was developed by the great chef Antoine Carême. See mille-feuille. Three layers of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) are filled with pastry cream and iced with fondant.
An “American napoleon” has a heavily marbleized chocolate and vanilla fondant top, looking more like Jackson Pollack than the neat French napoleon. An “Italian napoleon” adds layers of rum-soaked sponge cake. Some variations layer fruit, such as raspberries, in the pastry cream.
Food fact: The napoleon pastry was not named after France’s famous general and emperor. The name is believed to be a corruption of the word “napolitain” (napolitano in Italian), referring to a pastry made in the tradition of Naples, Italy.
RECIPE: VEGETABLE NAPOLEON APPETIZERS
This stack of grilled portabella mushrooms and creamy avocados layered between crispy lavash with a lemon-basil mayo, is a delicious vegetarian appetizer or a fancy snack.
You can vary the vegetables.