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June 2012
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Mother's Day dessert is easy, flaky, delicious

by ALISON LADMAN Associated Press

The secret to this simple Mother's Day dessert is frozen puff pastry. It is easy to work with and bakes up into a deliciously flaky pastry.

You'll find puff pastry in the grocer's freezer section, usually near the frozen fruit and pie shells. Be sure to thaw it completely before trying to unfold the sheets of pastry. You can place the box in the refrigerator overnight, or leave it (unopened) on the counter for about an hour.

We like the combination of blackberries and orange, but feel free to substitute any berry. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries all would be delicious. This dessert also can be prepped ahead of time. Just bake the pastry squares, then store them covered at room temperature.

Blackberry-orange Napoleons

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 9

17.3-ounce package puff pastry (each package contains 2 sheets), thawed

4 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

2 cups fresh blackberries

Zest and juice of 1 orange

16-ounce container mascarpone

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

Unfold each sheet of puff pastry and lay flat on a work surface. Use 2 tablespoons of the sugar to sprinkle both sides of both sheets of puff pastry. Using a pizza wheel or a paring knife, cut each sheet into 9 squares.

Arrange the squares on the prepared baking sheet, then place another piece of parchment on top of them. Place a second baking sheet on top of that so that the puff pastry is sandwiched between them. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the top baking sheet and allow the squares to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the blackberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the orange zest and juice. Set aside.

In another bowl, stir together the mascarpone, powdered sugar and vanilla.

To assemble, place 1 pastry square on each serving plate. Top the square with 1 tablespoon of the mascarpone mixture, then 1 tablespoon of the berries. Top with another square of pastry, followed by another layer each of mascarpone and berries. Serve immediately.

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