Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille

Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille

Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
 

This dessert is a nod to late summer with a little bit of the upcoming fall flavors mixed in. Flaky caramelized puffed pastry is layered with Smoked Vanilla Creme Mousseline and Bourbon Blackberry Plum Compote all topped with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream and fresh fruits.

 
Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet

Smoked vanilla might sound like a weird combination but vanilla’s natural musky flavor is complemented by the smokiness

Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
 

Vanilla can be thought of as a bland or base flavor but really vanilla can be incredibly complex. Smoked vanilla might sound like a weird combination but vanilla’s natural musky flavor is complemented by the smokiness. The easiest way to add smokey flavor is to use liquid smoke. You could also cold smoke or low smoke your milk before making the pastry cream but adding a few drops of liquid smoke easily add smokey complexity. I like to also add a bit of lemon zest for some freshness. Not enough to overpower the other flavors but to elevate them.

 
Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
 

Mousseline Creme is a pastry cream that has been enriched with butter. Yes, if you thought pastry creme couldn’t get any better, try whipping in some good quality butter and you have the most luxurious filling for chop pastry, cakes, or mille-feuille.

Once you've made and chilled your pastry cream, temperature can be the main cause for issue. If your butter is too cold when you incorporate it, it will become too stiff and may even look curdled. If you run into this issue, remove a spoonful of the cream and place it in a small bowl. Microwave it for 10 seconds, until it is melted. Then, add it back into the and keep whipping.

 
Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet

Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille

 

Caramelized Puff Pastry

  •  1 sheet store bought puff pastry

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Smoked Vanilla Creme Mousseline

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

Bourbon Blackberry Plum Compote

  • 1 cup whole blackberries

  • 1 medium black plum, pitted and roughly chopped

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

  • pinch of salt

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • whipped cream stabilizer (optional)

*thinly sliced plums and fresh blackberries for garnish

Caramelized Puff Pastry: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (400 degrees F convection). Place your puff pastry dough on a sheet of parchment paper the size of your baking pan. If needed roll your dough so that it is roughly 11 inches by 14 inches. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and place in the freezer to chill for at least 5 minutes. Remove from the freezer and add another baking sheet on top. Place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and uncover. Then, sprinkle the top evenly with granulated sugar. Switch the oven to broil and place on the middle rack until the sugar has melted and caramelized. Turning the pan as needed for an even browning.

Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut the puff into a 10 by 12 rectangle. Then, cut into 4 even rectangles (2 1/2 inches wide by 12 inches long). Set the rectangles aside until ready to assemble.

Smoked Vanilla Creme Mousseline: In a heavy saucepan bring the milk just to a boil over medium heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and egg, sugar and cornstarch until smooth.

Just when the milk comes to a boil reduce heat. Then, drizzle 1/3 of the warm milk it into the bowl with egg mixture in a thin stream while continuously mixing. Return the mixture to the saucepan, and slowly bring to a low boil, stirring constantly. Once the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, remove from the heat and stir in the 4 tablespoons of butter, liquid smoke, lemon zest and vanilla.

Pour into a heat-proof container and top with plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled.

Once fully chilled and set (at least 4 hours; preferable overnight), remove from the fridge and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to gently loosen the pastry cream.

Cube your remaining 2 sticks of butter and add one by one into the pastry cream. Whip on high until fully combine and smooth.

Bourbon Blackberry Plum Compote: In a small sauce pan over medium heat add the berries, plum and water. Cover the mixture and let cook until they release their juices and become soft about 8-10 minutes. 

Then, mix together the sugar and corn starch. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and corn starch mixture. 

Return the pan to the heat and cook on low. Heat the mixture until thicken and all of the corn starch has been cooked off, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add bourbon, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Make sure to do this on low heat so that the filling will not thicken too much before all of the corn starch has cooked off. 

If your sauce does thicken before the cornstarch taste is removed. Add a little water and continue to cook until thick and no cornstarch taste is left. Puree the mixer using an immersion blender, then pass through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds and skins. Chill until ready to assemble.

Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream: Just before serving in a large bowl, whipped together the cream and sugar with and electric mixer until you reach stiff peaks.

Assembly:

Fill a pastry bag fitted with the pastry tip of your choice with the creme mousseline. Lay one of your rectangles down caramelized size up and pipe 5 lines of mousseline. Then pipe lines of compote in between each line and top with the next puff pastry rectangle. Repeat until all of the rectangles are used. Set in the fridge for 20 minutes to chill. Then turn the mille-feuille over on its side and decorate the top with whipped cream, blackberries and plum slices.

Smoked Vanilla, Bourbon, Blackberry, and Plum Mille-Feuille - b. sweet
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