My Mother-In-Law’s Napoleon Torte

My Mother-In-Law is an amazing cook. As much as I enjoy baking, I had to take her up on an offer to bring a dessert for our Thanksgiving weekend feasts. After one bite of this beautiful torte, my son exclaimed that it was the best dessert he has eaten in his entire life. I knew that I had to share her recipe as a guest post of sorts. My son wanted the title to be “The Best Dessert the World Has Ever Known.” 🙂

Delicious and pretty! Here it is:

For the Cake Layer:

  • 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup light cream

For the Caramel:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) sweetened condensed milk (Carnation or Borden’s Eagle Brand)

For the Pudding:

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 T sauce flour (Wondra brand)
  • 1 T granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup light cream
  • vanilla extract or 1 envelope of Dr. Oetker vanillin sugar
  • 3 oz (1 package) serve and cook vanilla pudding (Jello brand)

For the Apricot Layer:

  • 1 12-oz can Solo Apricot Cake and Pastry Filling

To Make the Cake Layer:

  1. Combine the flour, butter, egg yolks, and light cream until a dough is formed.
  2. Divide the dough into 7 equal balls; refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Line 9.5″ cake pans with parchment; coat with cooking oil spray.
  5. Roll out each ball of dough into a 9.5″ circle (to fit into the cake pan), trying to make rounds of equal thickness.
  6. Prick each round of dough with a fork, cover with aluminum foil (or parchment), and pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and weights and continue baking for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly brown. (You may have to use a shield to prevent the edges from over browning.)
  8. Repeat these steps and bake the remaining rounds.
  9. Use 6 rounds for the torte. Crumble one round for decorating.

To Make the Caramel:

  1. Place the cans of sweetened condensed milk in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours- making sure that the cans are covered with water at all times. Cool completely. (This step can be done in advance.)
  2. Cream the butter until fluffy.
  3. Add 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cans of caramel (to taste) and mix to incorporate well.

To Make the Pudding:

  1. Beat 3 egg yolks with granulated sugar and vanilla until lemon-yellow.
  2. Mix in flour.
  3. Combine the milk and light cream.
  4. Add one cup of the milk-cream mixture to the egg-flour-vanilla mixture. Mix well.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan; add the remaining milk-cream mixture. Add the vanilla pudding mix.
  6. Mix well and heat on medium until the mixture comes to a boil. Cover with plastic wrap and cool completely in the refrigerator. (The pudding must be cold!)

To Complete the Filling:

  1. Fold the Caramel into the Pudding until a uniform mixture is achieved.

To Make the Apricot Layer:

  1. Using a small blender, immersion blender, or food processor, blend the apricot filling to make a uniform mass.

To Complete the Torte:

  1. Spread the first cake round with a thin coat of apricot filling and then spread the Caramel/Pudding on top.
  2. Top with the second round of cake; top with the Caramel/Pudding filling layer only.
  3. Continue the process, spreading the apricot filling on every other round.
  4. Cover the top and sides of the cake with the remaining Caramel/Pudding filling.
  5. Crush the 7th round of cake and decorate the sides of the cake to hide any imperfections.
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Raspberry Custard Tart

IMG_9822

I chose to make this lovely tart with my precious hand-picked raspberry harvest. The filling was warm, silky, and tasty – the crust crisp and lemony. I did have difficulty with the caramel sauce; it didn’t include any cream and only had minimal butter to keep it from firming up when cool. After adding cream, the sauce was more successful. Honestly, this simple tart would be perfect even without the sauce! This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Nancy Silverton, the pastry chef of La Brea Bakery and Campanile in Los Angeles.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the Pastry:

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

For the Filling:

  • 1 pint raspberries, plus more for serving
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  1. Prepare the sauce: Puree the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Strain the puree through a fine sieve set over a medium bowl and discard the solids. In a small heavy saucepan, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, without stirring, until a medium-amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and carefully stir in the raspberry puree until smooth. Stir in the butter and cream, then remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Let the raspberry sauce cool completely.
  2. Make the Crust: In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and salt. Cut the butter into 8 pieces and add to the flour; pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolk, lemon juice and zest. Add to the flour mixture and process just until large clumps of dough form. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough 1/8 inch thick and fit in a 9- or 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Freeze 15 minutes, or until firm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for 5 minutes longer, or until the pastry is lightly browned on the bottom. Cover the shell loosely with foil if the sides begin to brown too quickly. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. Make the Custard Filling: Arrange the raspberries in concentric circles over the bottom of the tart shell. In a small bowl, whisk the cream with the egg yolks, sugar and scraped vanilla seeds. Pour the custard into the tart shell. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the custard is set. Let the tart cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve with fresh raspberries and the raspberry-caramel sauce, if desired.

IMG_9834

One Year Ago:

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