This dessert makes such an impressive presentation, but is easy to make. I make the filling and sauce portions in advance, and usually bake the puffed pastry just before serving. If you prefer not to use the Amaretto because of the alcohol, you may replace it with 1 tsp. almond extract and 1/4 cup of milk. I always have filling left over as this is a spin off from the banana pudding recipe I use and I don't like to simply cut ingredients in half because the consistency is sometimes affected. We enjoy the leftover filling with amaretto cookies or served over fruit or even with pie or cake!
1For the filling, combine sugar, flour, and salt in a heavy sauce pan.
2Stir together the two milks and egg yolks. Whisk into dry ingredients in pan.
3Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened.
4Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and amaretto (or almond extract and additional milk).
5Pour into a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the pudding so a film will not develop on the top. Cool to room temperature. Chill in refrigerator until serving time.
6For the cherry sauce, combine the cherry pie filling with 1/2 cup of thawed cranberry juice concentrate in a bowl. Cover and chill until serving time.
7Thaw puffed pastry for 20 minutes. While thawing, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
8Once thawed, cut pastry into 3 strips along the fold lines. Cut each strip into 4 equal pieces crosswise. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake approximately 12 to 15 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. (Dark baking sheets may cook faster, so just keep an eye on it). When it's puffed high and golden brown, it's done!
9Remove to a wire rack. While still warm, split each puff horizontally into two layers. Cool completely and store loosely covered.
10When ready to serve, place bottom half of each pastry, cut side up, on individual serving plates.
11Spoon generous amount of filling onto pastry, allowing some to come out onto plate. Top with top half of pastries, cut side down.
12Spoon some cherry sauce around the pastry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. ENJOY!