Raspberry millefeuille, the easy way

JP McMahon: Keep it simple and buy ready rolled puff pastry

What if I told you that a banana was a berry and a raspberry was a fruit? Would you believe me? Botanical and culinary definitions always fascinate me, particularly their intertwined history and the many men and women responsible for naming them. Raspberry possibly derives its name from “raspise”, which was a sweet rose-coloured wine in the 15th century, or from the word “raspoie”, meaning “thicket”, which is of Germanic origin.

Whatever its origins, it is hard to think that the name raspberry encapsulates so many varieties. There are more than 200 known varieties, in colours from red to yellow to black, purple and blue. Raspberries began their journey in ancient Turkey, spread to the Roman empire and into the new world from the 17th century onwards.

Now 20 per cent of the world’s production of raspberries comes from Russia, which accounts for 895,771 tonnes. Who knows how the war in Ukraine will affect food supply over the next months and years.

The Great British Bake Off has featured many raspberry dishes over the years, from Prue Leith’s raspberry blancmange (very retro) to Paul Hollywood’s raspberry millefeuille. Making raspberry millefeuille from scratch is not a simple task, but there are plenty of shop bought options to help you along, from ready rolled puff pastry to raspberry jam.

How to make raspberry millefeuille

Place a sheet of baking parchment on a suitable tray and place a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry on top. Dust with icing sugar and place a large baking tray on top of the pastry. Bake the pastry sheet at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool. Whip 500ml of cream until stiff and fold in 50g of icing sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla extract or meadowsweet. Spoon into a piping bag.

Cut the cooled puff pastry into nine regular rectangles and spread some raspberry jam over six of them. Top with raspberries and cream and then repeat the process, building another layer, finishing with the last, free from jam, rectangle. Dust the top with some icing sugar and freeze dried raspberry powder.