I can't claim these as real napoleons since they technically only had 1 layer of puff pastry and napoleons are supposed to have multiple layers. I originally started out with the intention of creating a napoleon with 3 layers of pastry, 2 layers of pastry cream and 2 layers of bananas. Alas, I didn't take into account the puff pastry, well, puffing up quite so much. They literally went airborne and it would've been impractical to try to mush them into 3 layers or else I'd end up with a crumbly mess. Puff pastry doesn't take kindly to being mushed down. Instead, I cut one piece through the middle, filled it with pastry cream and bananas and called it a dessert.
This is a simple one to make for those summer days when you'd rather be outside than in the kitchen. It only requires about 15 minutes of baking time and you can prep the pastry cream ahead of time. I cheated on the puff pastry by buying the ready-made kind by Pepperidge Farm. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be more snobby than that but in this rare instance, the store-bought version was just fine, especially since I didn't have the time or materials to make puff pastry from scratch.
After you thaw the puff pastry according to the package directions, slice it with a pizza cutter (for straight cuts) in the size you want to make your dessert. I sliced one sheet into thirds lengthwise, then each strip into thirds again to make rectangles. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to taste and bake according to the package directions. Bake until golden brown then let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing in half and layering with pastry cream and sliced bananas. Serve immediately.
Now, another take on the same dessert is, before baking the puff pastry, you slice it in the size you want for each individual dessert, cover all but the edges with pastry cream, layer sliced bananas on top of the pastry cream and bake until the pastry is golden brown. Because it's weighed down by the pastry cream and bananas, it won't get the same rise so it's a bit more manageable. The bananas will also roast for more flavor. Once they're baked, sprinkle the bananas with granulated sugar, brulee them then top with ice cream. Serve immediately. I have to confess, I liked the second way better because of the taste of the baked bananas and the puff pastry being easier to eat without crumbling.
Sweet Treats Thursday