Puff Pastry


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.

P1030871

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!

So this one is only a week late.
This one is from Bake! by Nick Malgieri. There are several of us baking regularly from Nick’s book and every two weeks some one picks the recipe for each of us to make.
This past week (10/22) was Phyl’s pick, but I didn’t get to make it because I haven’t been in the kitchen for a while. But that ‘a while’ is over now. YAY!!

    Ox Tongues

Made from circles of puff pastry they are sweet, flakey, layered little treats.

Using Malgieri’s quick puff pastry the dough is cut into 2″ circles which are then rolled {on a sugared surface rather than a floured surface} into ovals and baked until caramelized {from the sugar} and flaky.

I sprinkled turbinado sugar on some and it just added to the sweetness. The ‘cookies’ were flaky and crunchy and delicious And so easy!

Nick made them on Martha’s show last Fall and you can find the recipe there with a video. We don’t print the recipes – you really need to buy BAKE! and join us baking through it.

Whew!! I think I am finally going to have some time to do a little baking. But just a little for now. Trying to get home just a little earlier so I can spend some time with my lonely oven. And since I am soooo far behind with the Modern Baker Challenge I thought I better get some of the Puff Pastry Goodies finished. Especially since it has been a month since I did one.

I had made up a full batch of Mal;gieri’s Puff Pastry mid-week just so I would have some ready when I was ready. So Saturday night after I made Chicken and Dumplings for B (Hospital food is boring!!!!) I had time to make these turnovers.

Spinach, feta cheese, onions, and egg filling in a light fluffy pastry. What’s not to like.

I didn’t follow Nick’s recipe exactly. I had some Tomato/Basil Feta Cheese so I left the dill out (not a fan anyway) and used yellow onions since it seems my freezer ate the green onions I had already chopped up. And, as you can see, I didn’t make triangular turnovers as Malgieri suggested. I love my little round turnover cutter.

Basically what you have is a individual serving of Spanakopitas. And so much easier than making a large pastry with filling.

I love baking with Puff Pastry. The pastries turn out so light and fluffy with the delicate layers.

These little tasty turnovers were so good. I really wasn’t sure if I would like them. I am not a fan of cooked spinach but mixed with the Tomato/Basil Feta and onions it was delicious.

I think these will make an appearnace at my next luncheon in December!!

Thanks, Nick, for making it easy!

I know one of the Modern Bakers has already made these turnovers: Renee at Every Pot and Pan (is dirty) and Phyl of Cabbages and Kings posted his just this morning, too. The rest will get there eventually.

If you have a copy of Malgieri’s Modern Baker you should join in the fun. We are in Puff Pastry through the end of November, then Cakes December through April and finally Cookies, Bars and Biscotti May through September 2012. The number of months we spend in each section depends on how many recipes are in each.

BTW Nick’s Modern Baker is now out in a Paper Back edition. He has revamped some of the recipes.

    “Writing this book was a real challenge, trying out faster and easier ways to get the same great results you might achieve with more work and more time spent in the kitchen, which few of us have to spare.”

I know what you are thinking! Why is there a picture of a SPIDER on the blog? I was wonderfing that myself. Oh, wait. That’s not a spider, it’s Malagieri’s Deep-Dish Peach Pie. What looks like a large arachnid crawling out of a dish is actually the pieces of the Puff Pastry Lattice Crust on top of some delicious sweet, nutmeggy sliced peaches. Malgieri said only to perss the lattice to the edge of the baking pan. I did. And this is what happened. The pieces rose up and … well you can see!! But it did not affect the taste one whit!!

Malgieri explained how to make the lattice work and then transfer it onto the pie. As hard as I tried I finally had just fix the lattice crust on the pie itself. But since I made two mini pies it was quite simple to do it ‘the old fashioned’ way. I cut the strips with a scalloped knife and only 1/4 inch rather than the 1/2 inch suggested because the pies were small.

Sprinkled with a little sugar they were sweet, but not too sweet and perfect one serving.

And the Ice Cream on top? That is…..


Chez Panisse Vanilla Ice Cream
(via Nancy who adapted it from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere)
Makes: 1 quart

1 vanilla bean
1 cup half and half ( I actually used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup milk since I was out of half and half)
2 cups whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks (I used about 105 grams of yolk)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the sugar, rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the sugar is fragrant.

2. Add the vanilla, sugar, vanilla pod, half and half, or milk and all the cream to a sauce pan. Warm the mixture, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

3. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl until just mixed. Gradually pour the hot mixture into the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking constantly.

4. Pour all back into the sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly into a custard and coats the back of the spoon.

5. Strain the custard into a storage container, add back the pod to the custard, and chill in the fridge until cold.

6. Add the vanilla extract, remove the vanilla pod, and freeze in an ice cream maker.

If you like a rich vanilla laden IC this is the one. And perfect to top my Peach Pie Spider!!!!

Other members of the Modern Baker Challenge have already made the pie. And there are process pictures on The Puff Pastry Page. And take a look at Phyl’s.

There are times when you want a snack and you don’t want a sweet snack. If that is the case then these are perfect.

    Savory Elephant Ears

There are actually two types of of Ears up there. On the left are the Savory Cheese Ears from Malgieri’s the Modern Baker.The process is the same to make these as with the Sweet Perfect Elephant Ears.Roll the dough into a 8″ x 12″ rectangle {mine is smaller because I made only 1/4 of the recipe}. After brushing the whole surface with egg wash you spread a mix of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, paprika, and salt. Fold half of the dough toward the center but not touching the center.

Fold the other 1/2 toward the center

and then fold both of those halves again toward the center.

Cut the dough in half and leave in the chill-chest (Thanks, AB!) for at least an hour. Then slice like cookies into 1/2 pieces, place cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 12 – 15 minutes until golden brown and puffy.

What you end up with is a cheesy tasty will puffy treat. These are definitely going on my “take to the next party” list.

As I was reading through some of my favorite foodie blogs I ran across a Pesto Palmier (Elephant Ears) on Jill’s blog where she used basil pesto for the filling. So half of the dough went for Malgieri’s Savory Ears and half for Jill’s Pesto ears. {I used my Cashew Pesto for this one.} Equally tasty.

The recipe for the Ears is in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker on page. 210. And please visit the Puff Pastry Section of the Modern Baker Challenge for other Elephant Ears and Puff Pastry Treats.

The more I work with puff pastry the more I like it. And the results are always so fun. Like these Elephant Ears aka Palm leaves, pig’s ears, palmiers.

We already know how easy it is to make Malgieri’s Puff Pastry. So it is super dooper (super dooper??) easy to make these little cookies. And they are very addictive.

Let the pastry dough warm up just a little and roll it into a 8″ x 12″ rectangle. This should be done while generously covering the dough top and bottom with sugar. After rolling, the long sides are folded toward the center (but not completely to the center. Then fold them in again. You will end up with a ‘log’ which you flatten slightly with your hand.

Chill a bit and then slice 1/2 inch pieces, dip in sugar and place sugar side down on a parchment paper to bake. As the pastries bake they caramelize on the bottom giving you a tasty little sugary treat.

Ideally the elephant ears should stay closed, like hearts, but mine opened up. Still tasty, though.

I used 1/8 of the puff pastry and ended it up with 12 ears. And they are now all gone!!!

Malgieri’s recipe is on page 210 of The Modern Baker. Visit the Puff Pastry Page for the Challenge and see who else has made the Ears!!

Danish. Wait, didn’t I just do a post on Danish. Why, yes! Yes I did! The last one was Malgieri’s Danish Cheese Pockets from Bake! . This one is Malgieri’s Danish Cheese Pockets…huh! what! Yes, same thing, different book. This one is from Malgieri’s Modern Baker

These are made with Puff Pastry. The filling was just a little different, not in ingredients, but in porportions. There wasn’t any difference in taste. But there was a difference in technique. While the Bake! danish were made by folding in the corners around the filling and topping with a pastry ‘button’ these are made in muffin cups. Malgieri says he did them this way because often people have trouble getting the folded corners to stick together. It does make for a deeper pastry, but I kind of liked folding and ‘buttoning’ the danish pastry.

What I DID like about these is the fact that they are rolled in sugar which means they caramalize while baking.

How do they compare? I liked the Bake! danish [on the bottom] better but next time I will roll the dough in sugar like the ones in Modern Baker.

These are part of the Modern Baker Challenge .

Find them on page 209 of Malgieri’s The Modern Baker

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