Posts Tagged ‘puff pastry’

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Pesto + Puff Pastry = Delicious

October 10, 2009

Not long ago, I found myself with a half sheet of thawed puff pastry. I wasn’t sure if I could re-freeze it, so I wanted to make something quickly with ingredients I had on hand. I headed over to Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry web site; they had lots of tasty recipes but Pesto Elephant Ears caught my attention. Even though I think of elephant ears as a dessert, I ignored the name and proceeded with the recipe. I served them with a simple dinner of soup and wow, were they good!

pesto puff 3

I made 1/4 of the recipe, but I didn’t really measure. For specific details, see the recipe.

Here’s the deal: Thaw the puff pastry for 30 minutes at room temperature. Unfold the puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Spread the pesto on the pastry. Note that I used a lot more than the recipe called for and it ended up oozing out in the oven. It looks good with all that green though, doesn’t it?

pesto puff 1

Fold each short side toward the center, leaving a 1/4″ or so gap in the middle. It’s easier to understand if you look at the picture.

pesto puff 2

Next, fold the whole thing in half along the 1/4″ gap. Slice into 3/4″ slices. I knew that my half sheet should make 6 pieces, so rather than measuring, I just cut it in half and then each half into thirds. Sorry, no more how-to pictures, but I think I got you through the tricky part.

Place flat on a baking sheet, leaving 2″ between pieces. Brush with an egg wash (1 egg plus 1 Tb water) and bake at 400° F for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Reheat leftovers for 2 minutes at 400° F.

Where did the other 1 1/2 sheets of puff pastry go? I used one sheet to make Parisian Apple Tartlets and half a sheet to make Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers.

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Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers & My One Year Blogging Anniversary

August 8, 2009

I don’t want to ramble on about my “blogiversary,” but I’ll take a minute to say a couple of things (feel free to scroll down to the part about the turnovers). When I started my blog, I didn’t know what I was going to blog about (hence the generic name “Jill’s Blog”). One plan was to post photos and updates while I was traveling. And there have been several trips and no travel posts! Instead, this has become primarily a food blog. One of the first things I posted about was my experience at the Culinary Institute of America’s Pastry Boot Camp. Upon returning from that trip, I joined Tuesdays With Dorie. And if it wasn’t for TWD, I’m not sure where my blog would be today. Thanks to the group, I’ve kept up my baking momentum and I’ve found many wonderful blogs written by nice, helpful, funny, and creative people. I’ve been tempted to join other baking and cooking groups, but I want to leave some time to try all of the great looking recipes that have been posted on other blogs.

What’s next?

  • In addition to my weekly TWD post, I’ve been trying to post one additional recipe per week, so I hope to keep that up.
  • I’d like to post more savory recipes, but I have a hard time with the photography; desserts are so much prettier and easier to photograph!
  • I recently joined The Kitchen Reader, so you’ll be seeing monthly book reviews here.
  • I’d like to beef up my blog by adding some pages and moving to my own URL, but that process has been going slowly.
  • And who knows, maybe the next year will bring some of those travel posts!

Turnover Time!

This is a quick and easy recipe that won’t have you spending the day in the kitchen.

My husband and I were out to lunch one day and he spotted some apple turnovers in the pastry case. He asked me if I could make apple turnovers. Of course I said yes and then set out to finding the right recipe. I knew I was going to use the sheet of puff pastry I had in the freezer after making Parisian Apple Tartlets. I wanted a recipe where the apples are cooked before they are baked inside the turnover because I was concerned that a raw apple filling wouldn’t get soft enough in the 20 minutes of baking time. This recipe fit the bill and it turned out delicious!

Turnover

Notes:

  • Ingredient notes are below in red italics
  • I microwaved the filling. Instructions for cooking on the stove are in the original recipe.
  • Since my rolling didn’t produce a nice square of pastry, I ended up shaping these as rectangles instead of triangles. I’m sure that yours will be more attractive.
  • I made half of this recipe, for two turnovers. I’ll be back in another post to tell you what I did with the remaining half sheet of puff pastry. (Update: I made pesto elephant ears)

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers

Adapted from this recipe

2 apples I used Granny Smith
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice I used bottled
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
Sugar, for sprinkling on top
1/2 package frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Peel and dice the apples. In a microwave-safe bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 8 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. The apples should be soft and the filling should be thick. Cool to room temperature.

When the apple mixture has cooled, whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl to make an egg wash.

Spread the sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Dust the pastry lightly with flour and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry into a 12-inch square. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the edges and cut the dough into four equal squares. Using a pastry brush, brush the edges of each square lightly with the egg wash.

Spoon one quarter of the apple mixture in the middle of each square, and fold the dough in half to form a triangle. Seal the edges by pressing them together with the tines of a fork. (Seal tightly or the filling will leak out.) Transfer to the baking sheet. Poke a few holes in the top of each turnover with the tip of a paring knife.

Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes to firm slightly. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the turnovers from the refrigerator, and remove the plastic wrap. Brush the top of each turnover with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake until golden brown and flaky, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm

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Tuesdays With Dorie: Parisian Apple Tartlets

June 9, 2009

This week’s Tuesdays With Dorie recipe is Parisian Apple Tartlets: rounds of puff pastry topped with apple, brown sugar, and butter. I’m still resting my ailing knee,  so thank you to Jessica of My Baking Heart, for selecting an easy-on-the-knee recipe so that I could participate this week! Check Jessica’s site for the recipe or look on page 319 of Baking: From My Home to Yours. Or, you can probably figure it out by reading this post!

PAT

What I did:

  • I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry. The recipe recommends using an all-butter puff pastry; however, my husband has temporarily taken over grocery shopping duties and I wasn’t going to ask him to go on an all-butter puff pastry hunt.
  • My largest round cutter is 3″, so I used that to cut out four rounds.
  • I peeled and sliced one Fuji apple. The recipe says to cut an apple in half and then cut the half into quarters, but that seemed too chunky for my tastes, so I sliced it thinner.
  • I had some puff pastry left over, so I twisted the pieces and sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar.

Twists

How it went: Dorie says that this is “almost embarrassingly simple to make.” It was super-simple and I was not embarrassed by that! Thaw the puff pastry, cut out the rounds, peel and slice an apple, sprinkle with brown sugar, dot with butter, and bake. The cinnamon sugar twists baked in about 20 minutes; I think I baked the tartlets for about 30 minutes. (And one of these days, I’ll remember to jot down the total baking time!)

How it tasted: Tasty and simple. I like a good fruit dessert, and fruit + puff pastry is a great combo. I think this would have been great with vanilla ice cream. My husband seemed to be expecting an apple pie, and he was pleasantly surprised by the crisp, flaky puff pastry. The apples were a little crunchy, but we liked that. My husband thought that the cinnamon sugar twists were too plain, but said that he “wouldn’t turn one down.” I think they’d be better with big sugar (um, I’m sure there’s a better name for it than “big sugar” but I can’t think of what it is right now – anyway, I know you know what I mean).

Would I make this again?: I’d like to give this a try with homemade puff pastry. Admittedly, then this recipe would no longer be embarrassingly simple. I’m not knocking the Pepperidge Farm, but homemade and is so buttery and delicious – I think that would…kick it up a notch? Take it to the next level? Upgrade it to Parisian Apple Tartlet 2.0?

PS: Are you interested in joining the fun? Check out the Tuesdays With Dorie site for information on joining the group!

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