Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Rosie Makes Fruit In Puff Pastry.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, I used puff pastry to make little shells for asparagus and a dill/cream cheese sauce. 
See here for instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After enjoying the savory appetizer, I still had puff pastry sheets left and I wanted something sweet.  I also had blueberries and strawberries, so I'm making a chocolate sauce for the strawberries and a sweet yogurt sauce for the blueberries.  Before I get to the how-to, you need to know about puff pastry.

First, what is puff pastry?  It's a very delicate, flaky, light pastry, also known as pâte feuilletée, made by repeatedly layering and folding dough and cold butter through a process known as lamination.  Throughout the process, the dough is kept chilled in the fridge while it rests and develops the gluten structure.  When baked, the water in the butter turns to steam and the many layers are puffed up and stretched until they're a glossy beautiful golden pastry.

If you're using store-bought puff pastry, always check the ingredients list.  Butter should be Numero Uno on the list, since ingredients are listed in order of volume.  The only brand of puff pastry I can find on the beach that meets this criteria is Dufours brand, sold at Fresh Market.  

Here's the ingredients list from Dufours:  Ingredients USDA Grade AA Butter (Cream, Natural Flavorings), Unbleached Unbromated Flour, Water, Salt, Lemon Juice

And here's the ingredients list from Pepperidge Farm brand:  MADE FROM: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, VEGETABLE OILS (PALM, SOYBEAN, HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, TURMERIC AND ANNATTO EXTRACTS  .

 Keep the puff pastry in your freezer.  Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before using it.  And when working with it, keep the pastry cool.  You don't want the butter to melt on you.

To prepare the pastry for baking, cut your sheets into small rectangles. Take a knife and score around each rectangle about 1/4" border, then prick inside the scoring.
Bake according to package directions - 400° for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.
Let cool, then remove the scored section.  You'll have a shell for your fillings.

 










 

 

 

For the strawberry shells, I thinly sliced strawberries and tucked the slices into the puff pastry rectangles.  Then I drizzled a chocolate sauce over top.

Chocolate Ganache
Heat 1/4 cup cream.  When hot (not boiling) pour in 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips.  Stir until melted.  If it's too thick, simply stir in a tablespoon or so of cream.

 








 

For the blueberries, I'm making a yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce
1/2 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 TB honey 
Stir until smooth.
Drizzle over shells and blueberries.








 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

Friday, April 2, 2021

Rosie Makes Asparagus In Puff Pastry.

 Let's bring on the Spring.
With asparagus.
 
I thought I'd try some appetizers - asparagus in puff pastry with a dill cream sauce.
 
First, what is puff pastry?  It's a very delicate, flaky, light pastry, also known as pâte feuilletée, made by repeatedly layering and folding dough and cold butter through a process known as lamination.  Throughout the process, the dough is kept chilled in the fridge while it rests and develops the gluten structure.  When baked, the water in the butter turns to steam and the many layers are puffed up and stretched until they're a glossy beautiful golden pastry.

Now, if you haven't made your own puff pastry from scratch, you should try it.
But, if you don't have the time or the know-how, you can use store-bought.
Just be sure you buy the right stuff.  There's puff pastry and then there's puff pastry.
 
The main ingredient in puff pastry is BUTTER.  Real butter.  So when you're looking to buy puff pastry, you must read the ingredients list.  The only puff pastry on the Outer Banks (that I've found) that comes close to actually being puff pastry is Dufours brand from Fresh Market.  Note that ingredients are always listed by volume.

Here's the ingredients list from Dufours:  Ingredients USDA Grade AA Butter (Cream, Natural Flavorings), Unbleached Unbromated Flour, Water, Salt, Lemon Juice
 
And here's the ingredients list from Pepperidge Farm brand:  
MADE FROM: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, VEGETABLE OILS (PALM, SOYBEAN, HYDROGENATED COTTONSEED), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SALT, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, TURMERIC AND ANNATTO EXTRACTS .
 
Note that butter is not even in Pepperidge Farm puff pastry.  The main ingredient is wheat flour and then you have some type of oil.  No butter.
 
 Now that you have a box of puff pastry (from the freezer section), let it sit in the fridge overnight to thaw.  And while you're working with it, keep it cool.  


The sheets come folded in thirds.

I'm using one-third sheet which I cut into four rectangles.


With a small knife,
score around each rectangle.




Then prick inside
the scoring.

Refrigerate rectangles
while you
make the sauce.








Rosie's Dill and Cream Cheese Sauce for Asparagus
1 TB butter
1 oz. cream cheese
2 TB grated Gruyère cheese
1 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp coarse Dijon mustard
1 TB cream
Heat all ingredients until cheeses are melted.
Stir until smooth.
Add in 1 TB chopped fresh dill.















12 asparagus spears.
For the asparagus, hold at each end, bend gently, and let the bottom snap off naturally.
Discard that bottom piece.
Then slice each spear into 3 lengths.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Drop in the asparagus and leave it for about 90 seconds.
Drain, then plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking and set the bright green color.
When cool, drain and pat dry.

Cook puff pastry
at 400° 
for about 15 minutes.
Until golden brown and puffy.



Remove the scored section.




Fill shells
with asparagus
and pour heated
cream sauce
over top.
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Add lemon zest and fresh dill.















 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For added crunch, sprinkle on some toasted pistachios.









Enjoy!