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raspberry and mascarpone mille feuille pastry

Mille Feuille (Easy Steam Oven Pastry Dessert)

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Have I got a treat for you today! This mille feuille with raspberries is such a simple pastry dessert but it’ll make you look like a pro pastry chef.

If you can bake sheets of bought puff pastry and whip cream, you’re all set to pull off your own mille feuille just like this, using raspberries as I have or whatever other fruits are in season where you are.

I bake my pastry in a steam oven because it makes the layers extra flaky and distinct, but whether you make use of a steam oven or your regular oven for baking, this flaky, creamy, lightly sweetened pastry tower is going to be something you come back to over and over. It’s a great trick to have up your sleeve anytime you need to impress guests at short notice.

ingredients for raspberry mascarpone pastry stacks

What is mille feuille?

The translation of mille feuille (pronounced meel-fuey) from French means a thousand sheets, leaves or layers, which refers to the flaky layers of puff pastry.

The flavors of mille feuille should be simple – this is a dessert that’s all about the contrasting textures of the crispy flakes of pastry with soft, vanilla spiked filling. A traditional version has three layers of puff pastry filled with a gelatin-set pastry cream (crème patissiere). It’s topped with a thin layer of white icing made from powdered sugar and water, and swirled with chocolate icing in a feather pattern.

I’ve seen mille feuille called a Napoleon in some bakeries, but they are actually two different pastries. A Napoleon also contains layers of puff pastry but it’s filled with an almond paste rather than a custard or cream.                      

My mille feuille nods to the classic, but instead of the more technically difficult cooked and thickened pastry cream, I use a simpler whipped cream filling enriched with mascarpone cheese and sugar. The mascarpone and sugar help to stabilize and thicken the cream, meaning it holds its shape well for piping.

I love adding fruit to mille feuille, too. The cream and pastry alone is wonderful, but I like the counterpoint in texture and taste that a tart berry or a juicy piece of stone fruit adds.

Other pastry desserts to love:

Raspberry Cheesecake Pastries

Apple Tarte Tatin

Plum Tart

How to cook the perfect pastry for mille feuille

puff pastry rectangles

First off, if you’re going to make a mille feuille, find yourself some all-butter puff pastry. Bought is absolutely fine, but please steer clear of the vegetable oil versions available in many supermarkets for this dish. Those are fine for many things, but here the flavor will really shine through in the finished dessert. Repeat after me: butter is better.

To bake the pastry into layers which are evenly puffed and unbelievably flaky, we’re going to weight it down for the first part of cooking. I know this probably sounds wrong, because puff pastry is meant to puff. Trust me, though. Your pastry will still bake into many beautiful layers, and the weighting is key to a lovely even slab of pastry which stacks nicely.

steps for preparing and baking puff pastry for mille feuille

I mentioned up top, I use my combi steam oven to bake puff pastry. Steam helps the pastry layers to separate and flake while baking (yes, even when they’re weighted down), so if you have access to a steam oven this is a great time to use it.

If you’re working with a conventional oven, no problem. You’ll just need to raise the heat a little and bake your pastry for a few minutes longer. If you’re using good quality pastry you’ll still achieve lovely flaky layers.

Tricks and tips for assembling mille feuille

steps for assembling mille feuille

Now that I’ve made more of these than I should admit (for testing purposes, you know, to help you!), I have a few tips which will make it easier to achieve amazing mille feuille pastries right from the first time you make them.

  • Don’t skip the dusting of sugar over the pastry during baking. The sugar melts down into a fine, glossy, caramelized layer over each piece of pastry, giving it more crunch and the barest hint of sweetness to offset all that butter.
  • Give yourself a break and bake the pastry ahead of time. You can bake the pastry up to a day or two in advance, and keep it stacked between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container. This makes it pretty speedy to put the dessert together when it’s time to eat.
mixing mascarpone cream
  • The mascarpone cream can be made up to a couple of hours ahead of time. Whip it up and put it into the piping bag, then put the whole bag in the fridge (I cover the open tip with a little cling film just to make sure that bit doesn’t dry out). By the next day it will have set too firm to pipe nicely, but a couple of hours doesn’t do it any harm.
  • Put a dot of cream onto each plate just before assembling your mille feuille. I assemble these direct onto the plates I’m serving from, and a very small dot of cream under the first layer of pastry stops the whole thing from sliding around on the way to the table after you’ve carefully stacked it together.
  • Can’t get fresh raspberries? Use another fruit instead. Different berries, sliced peaches or nectarines are very nice. Or roast a pan of strawberries or sliced plums with a sprinkle of sugar, until they’re soft but still holding their shape, and use these to fill your pastries.

Happy cooking, see you here again soon.

mille feuille hero shot
raspberry and mascarpone mille feuille pastry
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Mille Feuille with Raspberries and Mascarpone Cream 

Creamy, flaky and indulgent,and incredibly simple to make, mille feuille is the puff pastry dessert you need in your repertoire for a showstopping finale to any meal.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time22 mins
Total Time52 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: mille feuille, raspberry mille feuille, steam oven puff pastry
Servings: 8
Calories: 598kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 sheets frozen all-butter puff pastry thawed, each measuring 8”/25cm square
  • ½ cup confectioners sugar (icing sugar), plus extra for serving
  • 8 oz raspberries fresh
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or a whole vanilla bean, split with seeds scraped out
  • 7 oz mascarpone cheese

Instructions

Conventional Oven Method

  • Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut each square of pastry into three strips, then cut each strip across into four rectangles, to give 12 pieces from each sheet (24 rectangles in total). Place the pastry on the lined trays, then cover each with another layer of parchment paper and a second tray to weight the pastry down. Cook for 12 minutes, swapping the trays around in the oven halfway through.
  • Dust the pastry with the 3 tbs confectioners sugar, then return to the oven until it’s golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove and cool. The pastry rectangles can be made to this stage up to 2 days before you need them and stored between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container.
  • While the pastry cools, whip the cream with the vanilla paste and the ½ cup confectioners sugar until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and whip again just until the mixture is thick, then put the cream into a piping bag with a wide round nozzle. If you don’t have a piping bag, a large zip lock bag with one corner snipped off will do in a pinch.
  • To assemble, lay 8 of the pastry rectangles on a board and alternate dots of the mascarpone cream with the raspberries to cover. Place a second layer of pastry on top of each, then repeat the cream and raspberries before finishing with a final pastry layer. Dust the pastries with extra confectioners sugar and serve.

Combi Steam Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C, combination steam setting. If you oven has variable steam settings, use 60%. If not, don’t worry! Just set to combi steam and the oven will figure out the humidity for you. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut each square of pastry into three strips, then cut each strip across into four rectangles, to give 12 pieces from each sheet (24 rectangles in total). Place the pastry on the lined trays, then cover each with another layer of parchment paper and a second tray to weight the pastry down. Cook for 9 minutes, swapping the trays around in the oven halfway through.
  • Remove the pastry from the oven and take off the top trays and paper layers. Dust the pastry with the 3 tbs confectioners sugar, then return to the oven until it’s golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool. The pastry rectangles can be made to this stage up to 2 days before you need them and stored between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container.
  • While the pastry cools, whip the cream with the vanilla paste and the ½ cup confectioners sugar until soft peaks form. Add the mascarpone and whip again just until the mixture is thick, then put the cream into a piping bag with a wide round nozzle. If you don’t have a piping bag, a large zip lock bag with one corner snipped off will do in a pinch.
  • To assemble, lay 8 of the pastry rectangles on a board and alternate dots of the mascarpone cream with the raspberries to cover. Place a second layer of pastry on top of each, then repeat the cream and raspberries before finishing with a final pastry layer. Dust the pastries with extra confectioners sugar and serve.

Notes

  1. This is actually a very easy recipe and it will make you look like a pastry master. The key is using good quality puff pastry. If you can buy all-butter puff pastry frozen in the supermarket, by all means do so, otherwise many French bakeries will sell you a slab of their pastry on request.
  2. Fresh raspberries make this dessert very fast to put together, but you can use another type of fruit in season.
  3. You’ll need 4 baking trays – two for putting the pastry onto and two for stacking on top to hold it down at the start of baking. If you find all the pastry won’t fit on two trays, just bake in batches.

Nutrition

Calories: 598kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 795IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 2mg

Over to you – if you try this recipe I’d love to know about it! Share your comments below or on Facebook, tag @steamandbake on Instagram, or pin all your favourite Steam and Bake recipes over on Pinterest!

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