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Strawberry-Pistachio Napoleon

Strawberry-Pistachio Napoleon

From: Corporate Executive Pastry Chef Jonathan St. Hilaire, Concentrics Restaurant Group, Atlanta. Yield: 8 individual servings.

St. Hilaire

Pistachio Creme Brulee:
1 qt. half and half
1 qt. heavy cream
zest of one lemon
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
30 oz. granulated sugar
2 cups whole pistachios
18 egg yolks
10 sheets of gelatin
3-1/2 qt. whipped cream

Pastry Creme (Yields 2-1/4 Quarts):
1-1/2 quart milk
6 oz. sugar
2 oz. cornstarch
3 oz. bread flour
6 oz. sugar
4 oz. whole eggs
1-1/2 oz. yolks
pinch of salt
8 oz. butter
to taste, vanilla powder
8 oz. white chocolate

Dulce de Leche Sauce:
1-1/2 qt. milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. vanilla powder
4 oz. white chocolate
4 oz. butter

Strawberry Granite:
1 qt. strawberry puree
2-1/4 cups water
1-1/2 cups simple syrup
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
as needed, frozen puff pastry dough

For pistachio creme brulee: Place all ingredients except yolks, gelatin and whipped cream in large sauce pan and slowly bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Turn heat off and allow mixture to cool. Cover sauce pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place yolks in a bowl. Bring cream mixture to boil again and then strain off mixture. Place gelatin sheets in a bowl with enough cold water to cover them. Temper in yolks and whisk back into cream mixture. Squeeze out all water from gelatin sheets and add to cream mixture. Whisk in sheets and then strain once more. Place mixture in large baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. Allow mixture to sit until set, about 4 hours.

For pastry cream: Combine milk with 6 oz. sugar and bring to a boil. Combine remaining 6 oz. sugar with cornstarch, flour and salt in a bowl; mix. Add eggs and yolks and mix until smooth. Temper in the milk to the egg mixture, than add back to the milk and return to a boil. Whisking constantly, allow mixture to boil for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter, white chocolate and vanilla powder. Pour into a hotel pan, cover and refrigerate. Cover with plastic wrap directly on pastry cream so that a skin does not form.

For dulce de leche sauce: Cook the first 3 ingredients and cook down by 80 percent on low heat. Whisk in butter and chocolate. Strain and then place in an ice bath and allow to cool while whisking every few minutes.

For strawberry granite: Place all ingredients in blender and puree together. Pour mixture into a small baking pan and place in the freezer. Every 2 hours, take baking dish out of freezer and scrape with a fork. Continue until granite is slushy but frozen.

For assembly: In 350°F oven, place a half sheet of frozen puff pastry dough on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Dock holes into dough with a fork. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of pastry. Finally, place another half sheet pan on top of parchment. Weigh sheet pan down with ceramic baking dish. Bake puff pastry for about 25 minutes. Take top sheet pan off, along with parchment paper, Bake until puff pastry is a light golden brown color. Take out of oven and dust with confectioner's sugar then continue baking until dark golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Repeat with two more sheets of puff pastry. Cut the sheet into 8 equal portions; each dessert will need a total of three pieces of puff pastry.

Using medium-size square plate, place large dot of dulce de leche sauce at the 2 o'clock position, then drag the back of a spoon through it towards 7 o'clock position. Place one piece of puff pastry in middle of plate. Place pistachio creme brulee into a bowl and make smooth with a whisk, then fold in whipped cream. Place a large spoonful of pistachio cream on top of pastry, then follow with strawberry granite. Place another piece of puff pastry on top of granite and press slightly. Place large spoonful of pastry cream on top, followed by more strawberry granite, then with final piece of puff pastry. Dust again with confectioner's sugar and garnish with fresh mint or spearmint. Repeat with other 7 dessert plates quickly, and serve immediately.