7/26/10

Lithuanian Napoleonas

Regular visitors know that my current "track down the recipe...." is for a Lithuanian style Napoleon dessert similar to one I had at a wedding rehearsal dinner. The hostess did not make it, she bought it from a bakery. Being a fan of 'not too sweet' desserts, I tend to like things that are a bland, flaky pastry with a vanilla cream or filling and this was absolutely wonderful except I did not care for the apricot filling layer.

I was determined to find many recipes and versions and then use them to concoct my own Napoleon Tort from the three or versions in front of me.

I'm still on that quest. Unfortunately I've been working overtime at work, overtime at home and now, planning a camping trip for 6 teenagers this weekend followed closely by getting the kids registered for school, doing a college visit for one, and moving another child 'back' to college across the state. It's a busy, busy time and although I haven't been able to 'play with the recipes' yet, I haven't forgotten about them!

This is my 2nd recipe I thought had potential.


LITHUANIAN NAPOLEONAS

FOR THE DOUGH:
4 cups flour
1 lb lightly salted butter
1 pint sour cream

FOR THE FILLING:
1 1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
8 egg yolks
2 cups powdered sugar
1 package cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
2 cups milk
1/2 cup half and half or Carnation Milk
2 tsp vanilla
juice of one lemon

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH:
Sift flour onto pastry board. With pastry blender or two knives, gradually cut softened butter into flour until crumbly. Blend in sour cream. Form dough into 11 or 12 egg-sized round balls. Refrigerate overnight in covered bowl.

TO BAKE:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Before baking, let dough stand at room temperature about 15 minutes.

Roll each ball almost wafer-thin on a very lightly floured board. Roughly fit (one layer) into a 12 inch ungreased pie pan. Prick all over with a fork.

Bake each layer at 350 degrees 4 to 5 minutes. Cool.

Stack cooled layers atop each other. With a very sharp knife, even the sides, saving trimmings for crumbs.

Put layers together with filling.

TO PREPARE THE FILLING:
Cream butter, yolks, and sugar.

Stir pudding mix into 1 cup cold milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Gradually pour and stir pudding into butter and yolks.

Scald first, then slowly pour in the 1 cup milk, cream and vanilla. Slowly add heated lemon juice. Cool.

TO ASSEMBLE THE TORTE:
Spread about 1 tablespoon of the cooled filling mixture between each layer. Frost sides and top with same filling, sprinkle with finely crumbed layer trimmings.

VARIATION:
One or two layers may be spread with stewed apricot or apple puree. Berry preserves may also be used.

Adapted from: The Melting Pot, An Ethnic Cookbook, an Omaha cookbook, published in 1975, that solicited recipes from the different ethnic communities that make up Omaha.
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