January 25, 2008

Quilt Progress and Napoleon Recipe

first three rows

The first three rows are done - and they even match up! Well, ok, that's cheating a little since the top row is just one continuous piece of fabric. But still - look, math! The eventual layout will be like this beginning - random squares. The idea is that the background color will just all melt together visually and all you'll be able to see is the squares of different sizes.

The "poyon cake" continues to be a big hit, though she eats too fast for us to capture it on film... or on pixels, I guess.

In my waxing poetic about the wonders of Napoleon, I forgot to actually include a recipe! Warning: this is not one for the dieters out there. Remember the Simpsons episode where a French chef wants to murder Homer so he makes an eclair with 12 pounds of butter per square inch? It's kind of like that.

Pastry:

1/2 lb frozen butter
3 cups flour
1 egg
a little less than 1/2 cup sour cream
a little less than 1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

- grate the frozen butter on a large-holed grater
- add flour, chopping it into butter with a knife
- make a hole in the middle of the butter-flour mixture and add in egg, sour cream, water, baking powder, vanilla extract
- mix together, chopping together with a knife until the liquid absorbs, then kneading with your hand
- divide into 11 equal parts and roll these parts into balls
- leave ball in fridge for several hours
- roll the dough out into very thin squares, put on very lightly buttered cookie sheets
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and bake until golden brown

Custard:

4 egg yolks
1.5 cups sugar
5.5 cups milk
a little less than 1/2 cup flour
11 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

- mix egg yolks and sugar
- slowly add in flour, mixing it in
- add 1 cup milk, stir, then add the rest of the milk
- put on medium heat and stir mixture continuously without stopping (seriously - this is the most important part)
- when mixture starts to boil, turn off stove, quickly add butter and vanilla extract, stir well until butter has melted
- allow to cool (it's ready to go after 20 minutes of or)

Putting it together:

- crumble one of the pastry squares into crumbs to go on top of finished Napoleon.
- for the rest, create two Napoleons of 5 pastry squares each
- alternate layers of pastry and custard, making sure to cover each layer of pastry with custard entirely, letting it run off the edge
- spread crumbs over the top layer of custard
- refrigerate overnight to allow custard to seep into pastry

Whew. It's really quite an ordeal. But worth it.

3 comments:

mwg said...

I really like the color scheme of your quilt. Can't wait to see the result!
Chef Ratatouille (or was Gustav?) would die for this recipe... even the desription is two pages long - so to make it must be a true undertaking!

Shermanim said...

YUM! THanks for posting this recipe. I first fell in love with Neopolian cake when staying with some Russian friends here in Israel. Since, I always look out for it whenever we go to functions where Russians are present and every once in a while my husband and I will go to a Russian shop to buy one for ourselves. I will have to try it out! It's one of the jewels that immigration has brought to Israel!

Penny said...

When I saw the picture for the napoleon on your last post, I frantically looked at the end of the post for the recipe! I am so glad you remembered and posted the recipe here. I can't wait to try it!