Pumpkin-Butterscotch Mille-Feuille (Napoleon!)
That being established, I made pumpkin-butterscotch pudding, spread it between three sheets of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry, and topped it with cocoa powder and chopped roasted pecans. It made quite a tasty dish!
Here's the recipe:
2 cups pumpkin-butterscotch pudding, or to taste (see recipe further down)
1 sheet defrosted Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp chopped, roasted pecans
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Defrost puff pastry according to directions, unfold, then cut into three equal pieces.
3. Place puff pastry between two sheets of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and place another cookie sheet on top of the pastry so it won't rise.
4. Bake puff pastry for 20 minutes or until golden brown, then cool on the counter.
5. Spread 1/2 cup pudding on each of two of the three pieces of puff pastry, then stack one of the piece on top of the other.
6. Decorate the top piece, which doesn't have pudding on it, by dusting with cocoa powder and sprinkling with pecans.
7. Place top piece on top of the stack and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set.
8. Slice and enjoy!
Super Quick Pudding Recipe
1 cup prepared pumpkin (aka canned pumpkin), or to taste since some people will want more or less pumpkin flavor
1 box instant butterscotch pumpkin
1 cup milk, any fat content as you like
1. Combine all three ingredients and stir for two minutes until combined. If you want less pumpkin flavor, add 1/4 cup of the pumpkin at a time until you reach the desired taste. Use immediately or refrigerate until needed.
From-Scratch Pudding Recipe
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups milk (any fat content, though your results will vary), separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoon (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, egg yolks, and 1 cup milk in heatproof bowl and set aside. This bowl will be the bowl of a bain marie. This means your bowl should be able to fit over the top of your bain marie pot while leaving room for at least 1 inch of water and 1 inch of space--in other words, there should be at least 2 inches between the bottom of the bowl and the bottom of the inside of your pot.
2. Start water boiling in the pot of your bain marie, leaving 1 inch of room between the water and the bottom of your bowl. Bring it to a simmer and hold it there over medium-low heat.
3. Warm to simmering the remaining 1 cup of milk in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat, being careful not to scorch.
4. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking the mixture constantly as you add the milk.
5. Once the hot milk is incorporated, place the bowl on top of your bain marie pot of boiling water and stir the mixture constantly until thickened to a pudding consistency. This will take just a few minutes at the most.
6. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract, then add the pumpkin, tasting as you add until it tastes the way you want it.
7. Allow the pudding to set in the fridge for 4-6 hours until chilled and set. If you're squeamish about pudding skin, stick a sheet of plastic wrap to the top of the pudding.
Setting the pastry between parchment and sandwiched between two cookie sheets so they don't puff up a lot.
The baked pastry
The top layer set up with stencils and dusted with cocoa powder.
Using Pepperidge Farm puff pastry--the decorated top layer
Bonus! What do you do when you have another sheet of puff pastry to use and some extra pudding? Make fried pies (sez I).
Filling the pastry--two with just pudding, two with pudding, chocolate chunks, pecans, and marshmallows (which was better).
Pinched pies! Sometimes, when you fork your pies, the edges don't seem to want to stick. It helps if you flip the pie over after forking the edges on one side to fork the edges on the other side--then it's like . . . um . . . pie crust velcro!
What a fully fried pie looks like versus a pale pie. Make sure you get your oil hot before frying--I heat it up to about 375 so the temp doesn't drop below 350 when you drop the first pies in. If you don't get your oil hot enough, you'll have to leave your pies in longer to cook through, and that means all those lovely layers will sponge up a LOT of oil. Each side should fry up in less than a minute! After frying, set the pies upright in a paper towel-lined bowl so the oil can drain out.