Puff Pastry


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

The Modern Baker Challenge is now in the Puff Pastry section of Malgieri’s Modern Baker.

    Puff Pastry!

      NOOOooo!!


Puff Pasty is sooo hard to make! I mean, really, you have to roll it and chill it and roll it and chill it and roll it and…
That is what I always thought. Until I ‘met’ Nick Malgieri.
Malgieri has given us an easy, no fail pastry. And it is all done in the food processor. Yes, in the processor!! Amazing!!

Flour, salt, water, and butter is all you need to make the PP!

    Lots and Lots of Butter!!!

I made a full batch which gives you 3 lbs of dough. I divided it into 4 batches and used the first batch today to make a sheet of pastry in order to make…

    Chocolate Filled Napoleons.

This is not a quick dessert to make, but it is fun. I made only one sheet or layer of puff pastry

which I trimmed, cut in half and made a small batch {?} Napoleon which I cut into triangles.

The two layers sandwich a rich mousse made with cream, meringue, and chocolate. {It is supposed to have orange liqueur, but I didn’t have any.} And it was delicious.


I made 1/2 of the mousse recipe and had plenty for the Napoleon and some left over. Well, maybe left over!!

This is not a dessert I would have ever considered making, but now that I know how easy it is it will be at my next Tuesday with Friends.

Phyl has great process pics Making the Pastry Dough and making the Baked Pastry Layer. So if you need details please visit Phyl.

The Napoleon is on page 198 of Malgieri’s The Modern Baker.

By the way, unless you have lots of pots, bowls, spoons, cups, and whisks, just ignore this recipe….

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