Merry Christmas everyone!  The atmosphere is certainly charged with the excitement that always comes before big holidays, and our annual Christmas eve party kept every surface in the kitchen covered some form of cooking project from stuffed mushrooms, to twice baked potatoes. I was able to weasel myself a few square feet of counter space though, to create my Sunday dessert.  

This Christmas I was looking for something different to make. I had already made Christmas cookies and bars and appetizers. So I decided to make something completely unrelated to Christmas just for kicks. So naturally strawberries were the first thing that popped in my head was strawberries. I looked at my favorite blog, tartlette for a recipe, and I decided on Pistachio Strawberry Mousse Mille Feuilles.  Click on the link to go to Tartlette, the blog where this recipe is from.

What I did in this recipe, was I simply cut the puff pastries in half instead of using two pastries for one Mille Feuilles. 

Pistachio and Strawberry Mousse Mille Feuilles: 

Makes: about 10
For the rough puff pastry, adapted from Michel Roux.
2 1/4 cups (300gr) all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup (300gr) unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon (3gr) salt
1/2 cup (125ml) ice-cold water

Place the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the butter and salt right in the well and work them together with the flour, using your fingertips, gradually drawing in more flour into the center. When the butter pieces have reached pea sized pieces and the mixture appears grainy, gradually add the ice water and mix until it is all incorporated. Do not overwork the dough. Roll it into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
On a lightly flour work area, roll the dough to an 8x4-inch rectangle. Fold it into three and give it a quarter turn. Roll it into another 8x4-inch rectangle again and fold it in three again. These are the first 2 turns. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate again for 30 minutes.
Give the chilled dough 2 more turns, rolling and folding as previously described. The pastry is ready then. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
When ready to use, roll the dough to a 1/8- inch (3 mm) thick rectangle and cut out 4x2 pieces. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Dock the dough with a fork to let the steam out while baking so your rectangles will be evenly puffed. Bake at 350F until golden brown. (This took me about 20 minutes). Let cool completely before filling with the mousses.

For the pistachio and strawberry mousse:
8 oz (240gr) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
1/4 cup (30gr) finely ground raw pistachios
1/2 cup pureed fresh strawberries
1 1/2 cups (375ml) heavy cream, kept cold, divided

In a large bowl, whisk together the mascarpone and sugar until completely smooth. Take half the mixture and place it in another large bowl. Add the pistachios to one of them and mix until incorporated. Add the pureed strawberries to the other mascarpone mixture. In a mixer, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold half into the pistachio mascarpone mix and the other half with the strawberry one. The pistachio mousse is probably stiff enough to be used right away but you might have to refrigerate the strawberry one until the mascarpone hardens a bit otherwise it might be too soft to pipe easily. Divide the mixture into piping bags fitted with medium plain tips. Pipe dots of mousse onto half the puff pastry sheets, alternating the pistachio and strawberry. Top with another sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

I also have my fingers crossed that I'm getting a camera to replace my cousins that I am currently borrowing, because you never know when she is going to want it back...

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