What is this? I new recipe for the new year?
I must admit, puff pastry is one of those things I’ve wanted to try for a long time but never got around to. Why? Well, they’re complex and take hours to make. Unless you buy store bought, you pretty much have to make the dough the evening before in order to bake it in the morning. I’m terrible at planning ahead, so you can see why it never worked out.
Until now! Not only does this recipe take about half the time of normal puff pasty, but it’s actually very simple, as long as you keep one rule in mind: cold butter = success.
Yields between 10-12 puff pastries
What You Need
Rough Puff Dough
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons salted butter, cold
- ⅓ cup and 2 tablespoons cold water
- 4 ounces cream cheese (½ block)
- ¼ cup and 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 egg
- Jam, jelly, etc.
How You Do It
- Grate butter and freeze. It’s important for the butter to be as cold as possible, so leave it in there for about 10 minutes.
- While butter is freezing, mix together flour and salt.
- Add butter to flour and salt. Using a fork, mix, being careful not to over blend.
- Incorporate water. Continue to use a fork to mix (using your hands will soften/ melt the butter)
- Dump mixture onto lightly floured surface and shape into a square. At this point, the mixture won’t hold it’s shape, so it’s okay if it falls apart a bit.
- Roll out into a 10 inch rectangle. The dough might still fall apart at this point, but don’t force it together. Remember, you want the dough to stay as cold as possible. If the butter starts to melt, put the dough in the fridge for 1-2 minutes.
- Fold the top third of the dough over and fold the bottom third over (see below). Rotate and roll with roller 1-2 times.
- Repeat process 6 times.
- Once done, cover and freeze for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450F. While the dough is freezing, begin to make the filling. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
- Beat in egg. Once fully mixed, set aside.
- Remove dough from freezer and roll out until a ¼ inch thick.
- Cut out dough. You can use whatever shape you desire, but I used a simply cookie cutter (see below). I tested with 2 sizes–2 1/4 inches and 3 inches– and prefer the 3-inch one.
- Once all of your dough is cut out, make an indent in the center of each. I used a ¼ cup measuring cup, but the key is to slightly raise the sides of the dough.
- Pierce 4 times with a fork. This will allow the dough beneath the filling to “breath,” meaning that it won’t be soggy.
- Add a tablespoon of filling to each pasty.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg. Brush the edges of the pastry lightly with egg, careful to avoid the fulling.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the pastries raise and the edges are golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and spoon jelly over the filling.
The real test with every puff pastry is the layers.
Looks good from the outside (actually, it looks a bit like a biscuit!), but what about the inside?
Isn’t that amazing? Apparently, puff pastry doesn’t have to be as daunting as they make it out to be.
Apparently, there is a middle ground between store bought and spending 3+ hours on perfecting those layers.
What are your thoughts? What are some of your food goals for 2019? Besides pastry (easier than I thought, somehow!), I want to get into baking more bread. Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time,