I have to say, mille feuille is one of those desserts that I enjoy eating but that I also truly enjoy making. The fantastic thing about the mille feuille is it's versatility- why stick to the classic recipe when you can play around with ingredients and flavours? Here in Paris, it is common to find each patisserie display an innovative presentation around this iconic dessert.
Like with risotto, I find that mille feuille should match each season of the year, and with strawberries being the fruit-to-eat these days, it was easy for me to make my decision in the kitchen. Plus, I had gone strawberry picking so I used up a basket of fresh goodies straight off the farm! Pure bliss!
To make it, you will need of course puff pastry. You can either make it from scratch or buy a ready made roll, but the important thing is to have it bake between two baking trays. You can place the puff pastry on the baking tray, cover it with parchment paper and sandwich it with another baking tray- this will allow the dough to remain flat yet maintain it's crispiness.
Bake them for 20 mins at 200C, remove from oven and sprinkle with icing sugar before baking once again at 160C for 10 to 15 minutes so that it caramelizes. You end up with one side that is shiny and another that is matte.
Let the puffies cool then spread a layer of your garnish. You can go with either a custard-based stuffing or something more creamy- I prepared a mixture of whipped cream, mascarpone, sugar and some rose water.
A lil'sprinkle of pistachios
Then the wonderful strawberries
And for some glamour, I brushed on some culinary gold dust in a pink/red colour
There you have it, strawberry mille feuille with undertones of crushed pistachios and a rose flavoured creamy mascarpone filling!