Do you ever get a hankering for something and it just won’t let up? For the past week I’ve literally been dreaming about lemon curd. That sweet, tart, sticky deliciousness just wouldn’t leave my mind. So I whipped up a batch one afternoon and then needed to figure out how to use it.
Being too lazy to go to a store, I rummaged through my freezer and fridge and came up with some frozen puff pastry and whipped cream. And so, these lemon curd & fresh cream napoleons were born!
One of my favorite pastries from at home in Ireland is what we call a cream (or custard) slice. They are essentially a napoleon – layers of flaky puff pastry, fresh cream and either jam or custard with a basic icing on top. So delicious!
Since lemon curd was the ingredient I needed to work with, I omitted the jam or custard in favor of a layer of lemon goodness. Paired with the fresh cream, it is the perfect spring dessert!
The icing on top is simply made my mixing confectioner’s sugar with a few drops of milk. It couldn’t be easier! And while I’m usually a huge advocate for making your own pastry and crusts, puff pastry is the exception since it’s a HUGE process to make. Store bought is so much easier :-) One package of frozen pastry made 4 of these lemon curd Napoleons, but you could make them smaller to stretch the pastry further.
I’ve still got some lemon curd left over so I’ll be sharing another simple spring dessert with you next week – Lemon Curd Tartlets. Yum!
Simple Lemon Curd
For The Lemon Curd
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter cold, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest finely grated
For The Napoleons
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 package frozen puff pastry
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar for the glaze
- 1 -4 tsp milk for the glaze
To Make The Lemon Curd
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine.
Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.
Remove saucepan from heat. Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is thick and smooth.
Transfer mixture to a bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly.
Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour.
To Assemble the Napoleons
Bake the puff pastry according to the package instructions. Be sure to prick the sheet of pastry with a fork so that it doesn't puff up too much. They will bake for approximately 10 - 12 minutes.
Add sugar to the whipped cream and whisk until peaks begin to form.
Once pastry has been removed from oven and allowed to cool, cut into equal size rectangles.
Each napoleon will require 3 rectangles. Place the bottom one down, and spread with some of the lemon curd. Place another layer of pastry on top, then spread with the cream. Finally, put the last layer on top.
Mix the confectioner's sugar with a few drops of milk until you reach a glaze consistency. You want it to be easily spreadable but not so runny that it runs off the top of the pastry. Glaze each napoleon and allow to chill in the fridge until the glaze has hardened.
Using a heavy bottom pan and constantly stirring will help avoid the lemon curd curdling and creating scrambled eggs! Do not be tempted to raise the heat above a medium temperature. Slow and steady is the way to go!