I’ve always thought that true summertime desserts were hard to find. Often they are heavy, super sweet, and don’t really blend well with the light and fresh feeling of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I love pigging out, but why can’t dessert FEEL like summer? Well, with this recipe it can.
Last year my mom ate so many peaches and plums, and each time she would say that they were incredibly juicy. It was like clock work (parents can be predictable, can’t they?). But after consistently seeing bushels of them around the house, I decided it was time to use them in a recipe that captured the essence of the season; light, fresh, and colorful. That’s how these peach and plum puffed pastry napoleons were dreamt up. Howeverrrrrr, I had to wait until this week to make them. Why wait, you ask? I wanted to wait until peaches and plums were back in season. Seasonally fresh produce has the best flavor. Hands down. No argument. If you think differently, you will be beaten with a sack of peaches until you admit the error of your ways.
In this recipe, the sliced fruit gets tossed in sugar (I dare you not to snack on a slice or three). All that sugared coated goodness gets laid in a sautee pan where the high heat carmelizes the outsides. The result is phenomenal; it’s like a brulee and sautee hybrid. Oh, and the fruit gets basted in a wee bit of butter. Butter, sugar, and fruit are a holy trinity in desserts. Totally a trio of soul mates. If that wasn’t enough, the fruit gets spooned onto puffed pastry that’s been toasted in the oven. Each pastry square also gets filled with a lemon pudding and homemade whipped cream. Another puffed pastry square sandwiches everything in place before getting drizzled by a sweet plum puree. All that’s left is a dusting of powdered sugar and a fork. It’s heaven.
This recipe might be simple, but it has a few components. I tried to make the ingredients and directions as easy to follow as possible…but let me know if you have any questions!
**You can also grill the fruit and brush the fruit with butter.**
1 sheet puffed pastry
1 package instant lemon pudding (3.4 oz)
2 cups milk
1 lemon (zested)
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons butter (melted)
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, to garnish
Puffed Pastry: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the thawed puffed pastry sheet and place onto a cutting board or clean work surface. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. Lightly roll out. Slice down the seams and across twice (like a tic-tac-tow board). Place onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven. Cool.
Pudding: Take the package of instant lemon pudding and whisk with 2 cups of milk and the zest of 1/2 of a lemon. Stir for 2 minutes. Chill.
Plum Sauce: Chop 1 and 1/2 of the plums. Put into a small saucepan over medium heat with 1/2 cup water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Simmer until fruit is very soft (about 10 minutes) Blend until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Chill.
Whipped Cream: Pour 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl. Whisk until soft peaks form (about 1-2 minutes with an electric mixer). Whisk in the powdered sugar. After it has been absorbed, whisk in the vanilla extract. Chill.
Fruit: Slice the remaining fruit into wedges (about 8 slices per peach/plum). Put into a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons sugar. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter (if using a grill, brush the butter onto it). Lay fruit onto the pan/grill and cook for around 2 minutes per side. Occasionally brush with extra melted butter. You may need to work in batched. Remove from pan.
Assembly: Cut the puffed pastry squares in half. Spoon some pudding onto the pastry bottom. Add fruit. Top with whipped cream and the top of the pastry. Drizzle with plum sauce. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Serve and enjoy!