Blueberry Mango Mille Feuille

A Mille Feuille (a.k.a. a Napoleon in some circles) is a classic dessert that comes in all shapes and sizes, but the core of it remains the same: alternating layers of delicate puff pastry and various sweet fillings (fruits, creams, etc). I decided to use some great local produce to flavor my rendition: blueberry, mango, and (of course :-P ) strawberry.

I was inspired to make this by a fantastic entry way back during Strawberry Seduction. This dessert is really quite easy to prepare (assuming you cheat and use store-bought puff pastry like I did….shhh!)–the bulk of the time and effort is actually spent putting it together so that it looks nice. I think I did a pretty decent job, but looking back at the photos, there’s definitely room for improvement (e.g. my layers of cooked pastry aren’t even close to uniformly flat, so things look a little “rustic” ;-) ). There’s a lot of room to dress this up though and this is a fantastic dessert to bring out on the table to wow a few food appreciating guests.

As over the top as it might look, this dessert is actually quite light, so its a great way to end a meal. Flavor-wise, this is absolutely delicious–layers of flaky, light pastry, rich, buttery, sweet, vanilla flavored cream, and a harmonious mix of very fresh mango, blueberry, and strawberry (when you can manage to fit all three on your fork at once, that is!). The creme chantilly provided a nice, lighter contrast to the heavier, richer mousseline, and all in all, this was really quite a sight. I felt guilty cutting it, but I definitely did not feel guilty eating it. ;-)

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-2 mangoes
  • 1/2-1 cup blueberries
  • 6 or more strawberries
  • Crème Mousseline
    • 6 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 Tbsp flour
    • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 2.5 cups milk
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
    • 1 Vanilla bean
  • Crème Chantilly
    • 3/4 cup heavy cream
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The first task is to prepare the creme mousseline so that it will have ample time to cool and firm up before we need it. I also made this for my less than successful strawberry swiss roll, so the procedure is pretty much the same.

Begin by scalding the milk and steeping it with vanilla, taking it off the heat to cool for about 30 minutes and being sure to scrape out every last bit of vanilla in there.

While you wait, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, until smooth, then working in the flour and cornstarch, whisking again until pale in color. A stand mixer is your friend here.

Once time is up on the steeping milk, warm it up again (not boiling!), remove the vanilla pod, and temper the egg mixture (stirring all the while) with a bit of the hot milk. Slowly pour in a good bit of the simmering milk over the egg mixture, beating vigorously before transferring it back to the saucepan and stirring it well into the rest of the milk.

Now, bring this thick mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Things will be pretty thick, but keep at it as you don’t want the bottom to burn. Give this about 3-5 minutes on the heat (bubbles should slowly be working their way through the surface) and then transfer this to a separate bowl and let it rest in an ice bath to prevent further cooking.

As it is cooling down, add the butter and stir until fully mixed in, at which point, you should remove this from the ice bath and let it rest in the fridge. We’ll come back to it later and it will have a much thicker texture that is a lot easier to work with.

So now, onto the puff pastry. If using store-bought, obviously, it should be thawed out first, after which, you’ll want to roll a sheet out to be pretty thin. Cut this sheet into three rectangles of equal size.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°. Transfer the pastry to the sheet and brush lightly with some beaten egg white (diluted with about 1 Tbsp water). If you can’t easily fit all 3 rectangles on one pan, don’t crowd it and just do it on another pan or wait and work in batches. Whatever the case, bake this for 10-15 minutes, just so they puff up and brown nicely.

The next time I do this, I would strongly consider weighing each sheet down a bit (e.g. putting another baking sheet on top of it) so that each piece would be of uniform thickness, so I just put that out there as food for thought. If anybody has any better methods that have worked for them, I would definitely appreciate hearing it in the comments.

Once all three pieces have cooked and cooled off for a few minutes, you can get to work on putting this together. Spread the creme mousseline out on top of two of the pieces, doing your best to cover nearly the entire top surface.

Then, prepare your fruit. For me, this mean peeling and slicing the mango thinly as well as rinsing and ensuring there were no stems or junk in the blueberries. Lay the fruit out on each spread of creme however you find it attractive. For the blueberries, you might want to press them lightly into the creme so that they don’t go rolling off when you’re not looking. Before you proceed, dab a few spots of the creme on top of the fruit in a few places. Don’t worry about appearances–this is to help glue the layers together (whole blueberries aren’t exactly adhesive).

Now, get out something wide and sturdy as you’ve got something that requires great care: you need to put one of these pastry+creme+fruit layers on top of the other and that puff pastry is not exactly super sturdy. I used two fairly wide spatulas to support the pastry as I lifted one onto the other, but a baking sheet or any other wide, flat surface would do. You don’t want this to split in half and collapse.

I put the blueberry layer on top of the mango layer and then gently pressed it down a bit. Finally, put the third, empty layer of pastry on top

You’re almost done! All that remains is decorating the top most layer. I made some creme chantilly and piped little puffs of it all over the top surface using a plastic bag with a corner cut off.

To add a bit more color, I then dipped into my endless supply of strawberries, husked them and quartered them, and tried to arrange them in something of a pattern on top. The creme did a great job of holding them in place.

At this point, you can serve, but if you’re not ready yet, give this some time in the fridge so that the creme mousseline and the chantilly can cool off again. This isn’t the kind of dessert that can be prepared very far in advance though, as while it will still be delicious, the puff pastry will lose its crispness and become soggy.

Lastly, your final challenge when you do serve this: cutting it! Remember how delicate those layers of puff pastry were? Now imagine trying to cut this without just destroying it. I used a long serrated knife. Place one hand on the closest short end of the mille feuille–this is to support the slice you’re about to cut so it doesn’t fall apart. Then slowly and with very long strokes, work your way down from top to bottom, supporting the slice with your hand (or a spatula) as it becomes free so that the individual layers don’t come crashing down. Unless you cut thick slices, I would plate the slice on its side so it doesn’t topple over like a jenga tower.

Enjoy!

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32 Responses to “Blueberry Mango Mille Feuille”

  1. Jan Says:

    Now that’s what I call a dessert!
    Looks amazing Mike.

  2. Mary Says:

    That’s such a pretty summer dessert!

  3. joanne at frutto della passione Says:

    Heavens to murgatroid that looks fabulous, amazing even! So what if the layers aren’t perfect I think it looks wonderful. You have inspired me to try one now.

  4. Clumbsy Cookie Says:

    Yummy! Very summery!

  5. Sarah Says:

    Mike,
    Hey….there is nothing wrong with using already-made products once in a while! This looks very fun and creative!

  6. cakewardrobe Says:

    that looks fantastic!

  7. noble pig Says:

    Holy…that just makes me weep. Yum.

  8. Ivy Says:

    One of my favourite desserts. It looks wonderful.

  9. katie Says:

    Oh My God!
    That is gorgeous! So, you felt you had to share it with others? I suppose one must…..
    I am duly ‘WOWED”
    But a little miffed that you didn’t send me any…..

  10. pam Says:

    My first thought was..wow! And then my second thought was…how do you cut that??

  11. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) Says:

    Beautiful! I especially love the strawberries on the top — they look like red dinosaur scales!

  12. Susan from Food Blogga Says:

    Forget screaming for ice cream, I’m screaiming for your mille feuille. It’s gorgeous, Mike, just gorgeous!

  13. Dragon Says:

    Stunning!! Wish I could reach out and grab it. The photography is really good. Great job!

  14. grace Says:

    what a lovely dessert. i can see myself just picking it up and eating it like a sandwich. would that be wrong? :)

  15. Peter Says:

    Mike, it would be messy to eat but oh so devlishly good. Your presentation is most dramatic…pile it on!

  16. Helen Says:

    Good God – it’s a masterpiece!!!

  17. aforkfulofspaghetti Says:

    Looks like something one might wear at Royal Ascot! Fab job, Mike!

  18. nina Says:

    Mike…you did great!!!! I love that you used different kinds of fruit.

  19. Susan at Sticky,Gooey,Creamy,Chewy Says:

    Gorgeous! Napoleans are my favorite pastries. You did a fabulous job with this. I’m drooling!

  20. Terry B Says:

    Beautiful, Mike! And I much prefer the poetic name mille feuille[s], French for a thousand leaves or sheets, referring to the multi-layered pastry.

  21. Coffee and Vanilla Says:

    Mike, your Mille Feuille looks amazing!!!!
    Margot

  22. Y Says:

    Looks like a crazy tower of goodness. Can’t imagine how you would even cut into that, but I’m sure you managed just fine ;P

  23. Lynn Says:

    This does look over the top. What a showstopper of a dessert! Amazing!

  24. Zenchef Says:

    Mmmm…. mille feuille! And a spectacular one!
    I’m sure there was a lot of smiling faces at the dinner table.

  25. Jude Says:

    I was totally unprepared for this. Aside from being unable to pronounce mille feuille, staring at your droolworthy photos before bedtime is really bothering me. Makes me want to dive into a tub of ice cream.

  26. Flanboyant Eats Says:

    Mike, how do you have time to cook something so elaborate!? geesh? Looks delish. I love it… Stuff like this makes me want to be home so I can cook for my fam, especially the kids–they’d love it…

    my mother buys mangos by the case… :)

  27. Nicisme Says:

    Looks really lovely, great fruits you chose!

  28. Jeff Says:

    Looks great and hey if you want to make puff pastry have fun. Store bought has never done me wrong to date.

  29. Sandie Says:

    Mmm… This is a beautiful thing! I cannot believe I almost missed this post while vacationing! (That would have been a shame, as this is EXACTLY the kind of pastry that would catch my eye while window shopping and get me in a pastry shop spending $$.) Nice job with this dessert!

  30. Hélène Says:

    Beautiful Mike as always.

  31. Strawberry Cream Pie in a Thyme Scented Almond Crust from Mike's Table Says:

    [...] that going on, prepare the pastry cream. This is something I’ve covered before and its a great thing to have in your arsenal since its delicious and simple to make (and easy to [...]

  32. Hong Kong Food Blog Says:

    Mike
    Very yummy mille feuille. Personally I would love more mango and fewer berries. But your combination is lovely.

    Anna

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