Puff Pastry


This weeks’ theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Fresh and Fruity.  Which is a great theme for this time of the year.  So many fresh fruits and veggies everywhere.  But here in the south while we have plenty of veggies coming in we don’t really have any fruits.  Watermelon is about all.  Fortunately for me I have some ‘fresh’ fruit that I canned last year so I used that.

For these….

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apple and pear upside-down caramel tarts

They are mini versions of a tarte Tatin and they are easy to put together.  And delicious.

Caramel sauce:
    1 ½ cups sugar
    4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup whipping cream

Tarts:

    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch–thick wedges
    2 Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
    1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • To make the caramel sauce: Stir the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  • The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening.
  • Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown.
  • You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon.
  • Pour three-fourths of the caramel sauce into four 4-inch-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-high sides, dividing equally.
  • Allow the caramel in pans to cool.
  • Whisk the cream into the remaining caramel sauce to blend and set the caramel sauce aside.
  • To make the tarts: Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel in the pans, then stack the remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary.
  • Cut out four 4-inch rounds.
  • Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans.
  • Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife.
  • Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  • Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender.
  • Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly.
  • Place a plate over each tart.
  • In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate.
  • Remove the pans.
  • Drizzle some of the reserved caramel sauce around the tarts and serve.
  • Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use.
  • These are definitely going into the dessert rotation. I always have puff pastry in the freezer and always have apples and pears on the counter (or in the pantary) so it would be no trouble to put these together – often.

    These are from relaxed cooking with curtis stone (page 358)

    Check wit the other members of I Heart Cooking Club to see what they made with fruit this week.

    FIRST I want to thank Peggy for her pick this week. I needed a quick and tasty dessert and this one was just perfect. SECOND – thanks to Donna Hay for the quick sweet treat. SHE is the reason I keep puff pastry in the freezer. It is good for just about anything from desserts to pot pies to savory tidbits.

    This is pear season and ours are just beginning to ripen. I picked one, just one, and it was plenty for three galettes.

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    I made mine with apple.

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    This is super simple to make. Cut your puff pastry into squares. Sprinkle on some ground almonds. Layer some thin pear slices. Brush the whole thing with melted butter and then just bake at 350 until the pastry turns golden brown. No measurements. Put as much or as little of the pears and almonds as you like. This dessert is all about YOU!!

    The ‘recipe’, if you want to call it that, is on page 160 of Donna’s off the shelf. I bet the other members of Wednesdays with Donna Hay liked this one, too.

      There is just something about the texture of ricotta…

    It is NOT a cheese I would pick to use for anything. But there are a lot of recipes out there that contain it and when it’s IN something it’s not bad. Like in these little puff pastry pies!

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    What you have here is puff pastry filled with a ricotta, Parmesean, dill, spinach mix. And it is wonderful!

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    Using puff pastry instead of Filo is genius. I love spanakopita but it is just takes so long to make with the Filo. I might make these more often just because of the Puff Pastry. Oh, and the flavor! Thanks, Donna!

    You can click on over to the website and see if the other’s liked Chaya’s pick for this week.

    I know I haven’t been with the group much, the Baking with Julia group, but somehow life got crazy and I wasn’t baking as much. And then I actually did make this tart and then forgot to post it. So better late than never!

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    I made just one small tart. Just for me. I ate it. It was WONDERFUL! Is there anything better than caramelized onions? Why, yes, there is. Caramelized onions with bacon!!

    This was super simple. A small disk of puff pastry covered in “melted” onions mixed with cream and bacon. Done!!

    You can see the rest of the tarts by clicking over to Baking With Julia. And you should try this. Really!!

    Recipe is on page page 426 of Baking with Julia and was contributed by Michel Richard.

    This week it was my turn again to pick the recipe for the Wednesday with Donna Hay gals. I really wanted to do something different. Something I would never make under ordinary circumstances. Cooking with the other three ladies – Gaye, Chaya, and Sarah – I try to not to pick the ordinary. So this time I went with:

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    Anchovies have never been an item on any of my menus – or Pizzas – so this recipe of Donna Hay really caught my attention. Even if you don’t care much for the salty little fishies you really need to try out this tart. The onions, black olives, and Parm cheese really blend together well and the little fishies add another layer of flavor that adds saltiness but not fishy-ness. The onions are slightly caramelized, mixed with brown sugar and Balsamic vinegar and then piled on some puff pastry and topped with the olives, thyme, and anchovies. The Parm cheese forms a nice foundation.

    I have to tell you – these were GOOD!!! Lots and lots of flavor. No changes to be made. Except—I think next time I would use shredded Parm rather than grated.

    Go visit with

      Chaya,
      Sarah, and
      Gaye and see if they liked my pick this week.

      You can find the recipe on Donna’s website. And on page 170 of Modern Classics: Book 1

      AND…if you would like cook/bake along with us we are using the recipes from Donna’s website and from this cookbook. No pressure. We just cook and bake and blog.

    Actually, as Donna wrote it, it’s supposed to be rosemary on the tarts, but since I am not a big fan I subbed in basil. Which was a good thing since my goat cheese is harb and garlic, specifically, basil. How can you go wrong with doubling up on a good flavor?

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    The pick this week is Kayte’s, who has been awol for a while and is now back and making great picks for us as usual. What do you need for this one? Puff pastry, potatoes, goat cheese (Donna called for slices but all I buy is a local soft cheese), and rosemary basil. Drizzle with a little EVOO and some cracked pepper. Delish!!

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    The recipe is on page 158 of Donna’s modern classics: Book 1

    And don’t forget to visit with

    for their tarts.

    It isn’t often, okay, its never, that I serve a pre-dinner snack. And a French one at that. Tonite it was differnt. Tonite we had a fine little tart just before we ate. Puff pastry, onions, bacon, scallops. All these came together in Dorie’s scallop and onion tartes finesP1030869What wonderful flavors these were. Just the fragrance of the soft caramelizing onions was enticing, but then you add the bacon and … Well, what can I say. Baked rounds of puff pastry are topped with an onion and bacon mixture. These are topped with slivers of scallop. While Dorie used raw scallops and then warmed the whole thing in a very hot oven I sliced and then quickly seared my scallops first. It definitely enhanced the flavor of the scallops. I did this because I wanted to make sure the scallops were done. And the Hubs does not like undercooked seafood.

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    If you would like to see other Tartes Fines click on over the French Fridays with Dorie.

    The recipe is in Dorie Greenspan’s around my french table on page 168

    Did you notice the title. EASY Apple Tart. That is an understatement. It should be Super Duper Esy Apple Tart because tht is exactly what it is. If you have an apple and some puff pastry you can whip this baby up in about 15 minutes including the baking.

    You can have all that deliciousness in a snap. Seriously!! A Snap!! Slice your apples. Toss with cinnamon, sugar and melted butter, place on a square of Puff Pastry and BAKE!! That’s IT!!!

    And if you want it really over the top, put a small large scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!!!
    And if you really want decadence, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top. Or would that be TOO much?? NOT!! (I thought of that AFTER we had eaten the tart!)

    You can find Donna’s Easy Apple Tart on her webpage.

    And check over with Kayte, Chaya {our newest participant}, and Gaye and see what they did with their Super Duper Easy Apple Tart!

    Or not!! I decided against the S&P and made Cheese Straws instead. And they were GOOD!!!

    I made 1/2 of the recipe which resulted in 10 straws. And I used Parmesan-Romano cheese. I forgot the salt but did remember the paprika. Tasty!!

    This is the last Puff Pastry recipe for me. Not bad! I managed to make 11 of the 16 recipes in the Puff Pastry Section. The Salt & Pepper Cheese Straws are on page216 of Malgieri’s Modern Baker.

    The next section for The Modern Baker Challenge is COOKIES!!. Just in time for Holiday Baking!! {It’s supposed to be the CAKE section, but since it is the holidays……!}

    We are getting near the end of the Puff Pastry Section of Malgieri’s the Modern Baker and I am finally finding time to do a few more Puff Pastry Selectios. I know I needed to do this one as it is the OFFICIAL post for these rather elegant desserts:

      Feuillettés

    Y’all know I am not making full sized desserts. Just two of us at home now, yes, The Boy is here, but not for eats most of the time. Since minis are now the plan of the day I discovered a great way to make small round layers of Puff Pastry!

    My 4.5″ tart pans. PERFECT!!

    I end up with the perfect size for two people to share, eh, maybe…..!

    To make the Feuillettés, place one baked puff pastry round on a plate. Spoon freshly whipped cream on top and then place the berries on top {Malgieri calls for a berry mixture, but all I wanted for this one was blueberries.}

    The berries are mixed with sugar and kirsch {or white rum} and slightly crushed. Then the berries are topped with MORE whipped cream and topped with a second Puff Pastry Round. And then on top of that – Crème Anglaise! Which I then topped with a few of the blueberries.

    Oh. My. Goodness!! This is really good!! And so PRETTY!!! If you have a dinner party coming up, THIS one is the dessert for you!!

    You can find the recipe (since we aren’t publishing them) on page 201 of the Modern Baker. Check out Phyl’s Feuillettes. They are beautiful.

    And visit The Modern Baker Challenge and see what we are making and join in the fun!

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