Here at our house we love balsamic vinegar and we love strawberries! Today’s Balsamic Strawberry Napoleons seemed like a quick dessert idea. With the various components of this dessert it took us longer to make then anticipated. But we learned some things, if I was making this dessert for a dinner party I would cut the strawberries and make the whipping cream ahead of time. Little Chef H was really wanting to help with this recipe. I’m pretty sure she just wanted to sneak as many strawberries as she could while pretending to help!
The first and longest step is preparing the filo pastry. It is very thin and needs to be carefully handled. On a parchment lined baking sheet place one sheet of filo pastry. Brush it all over with melted butter. Add the next layer of filo pastry then brush all over with melted butter. Repeat this step until you have 5 layers.
Each stacked pile of filo pastry will be cut into 8 pieces. We found it easy to use a pizza cutter.
Spread the cut piles of filo pastry apart a little bit to bake. Each napoleon will need 3 stacks of filo pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Little Chefs A and D were both eager to cut the strawberries. In fact, they believe they are so skilled that when I told them we were having some other Little Chefs make and post recipes on our blog I got a response to remember! Little Chef A said, “We are going to test them out and see what kind of skills they have.” Little Chef C said, “But we can’t make a recipe all by ourselves.” To which Little Chef A said, “No, but we do know a lot of skills and we need to teach them the skills we know…like how to be save in the kitchen.”
The cut strawberries are put in a warm skillet with 1 Tablespoon of melted butter. Along with the strawberries add 2 Tablespoons brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Let it cook for about 5 minutes until they are heated through. Little Chef A was amazed the balsamic vinegar changed the color of the strawberries to brown. However I would call the color a deep red, not brown.
The last component is the whipping cream. We mixed one cup of heavy cream with 1/2 cup powdered sugar, then added in one teaspoon vanillla extract and one teaspoon almond extract to be daring! Continue beating until soft peaks form.
Once all your components are done you are ready to assemble. Filo pastry, whipping cream, strawberries. Repeat two more times. You will want to carefully apply some pressure to the new layer of filo pastry to layer it tightly to the layer below. The first Napoleons we tried slipped off. After we gently pushed the filo pastry down it stayed put so much better. Top the Naporeleon off with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy.
The filo pastry gives it a crunchy texture. Little Chef A thought they looked like Poptarts as they were cooked and waiting on the cookie sheet. They do puff up in the oven a bit. The whipping cream gives it a smooth texture and the strawberries give it a punch of flavor. We found that we wanted more whipping cream because our ratio was not quite right to the filo dough, but that was easy to remedy. We still had some left in the bowl.
- 6 sheets fila pastry (about 12x18 inches)
- 3 Tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 2 cups strawberries
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- Stack fila sheets on a parchment lined cookie sheet, brushing each sheet lightly with butter before adding the next. Cut each stack into 8 equal pieces. Using a wide spatula move each piece a little apart so they are not touching. Bake in a 350 degree oven until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Slice strawberries. In a skillet over medium heat, melt 1 Tablespoon butter. Add strawberries, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Let cook for about 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
- In a medium bowl whip heavy whipping cream for one minute then slowly add in powdered sugar then vanilla and almond extracts. Whip until soft peaks form.
- To make the napoleons: place one cooked fila stack on your plate then add whipping cream then strawberries. Repeat this process 3 times so you have 3 duplicate layers. Top it off with a dusting of powdered sugar.