Saturday, July 4, 2009

Puffy Fireworks

Do I know how to celebrate the Fourth of July or what? See that plate of raspberry puff pastry turnovers? That's what I did today. And then I ate two of 'em, and all the crust scraps that I'd sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. And then I took the pictures before I went completely nuts and ate all the evidence. Because it IS puff pastry.

Yeah. Puff pastry. Light and buttery and built of nothing but tender flakes and air and unicorn magic. Okay, I know it's terribly rich and not one of the ten healthiest things you can eat but you have to let it all hang out once in awhile. Especially when it comes to pastry. Listen, puff pastry is to ordinary pastry what champagne is to Annie Greensprings wine. Trust me on this. And this is especially true when you stumble across a really easy recipe.

I already had an easy puff pastry recipe but thanks to our friends at King Arthur Flour, I now have a super-easy version. You can go here for the recipe (you can choose to read the measurements by volume or weight) for Raspberry Puff Turnovers but be sure to click on their link at the beginning of the article and go to the blog called Baker's Banter. On that page you'll find a really terrific photo tutorial that takes you step-by-step through the whole process -- with options for mixing the dough with a food processor or by hand. I noticed the hand version made use of the Danish dough whisk. She didn't mention it by name but one of the photos shows part of the business end and I know KAF sells 'em. Besides, I had already pulled out my own rug beater to do the job.

I really don't know how a recipe that simple can turn out to be so abundant in flakes. Just look at those tender layers! They just go on forever.

Yes, I know . . . there is a certain amount of filling ooze going on. My fault entirely. You're only supposed to put about a teaspoon of filling on each pastry square and I kept getting just that silly little bit more. Heck, I had stuff oozing out of the durned thangs before I even got them on the cookie sheet. It doesn't turn out to be a big problem. You don't lose much and the dribbles thicken up rapidly when you put the turnovers on the rack to cool.

Not having any of the large-crystal sugar that they used at KAF, I didn't bother putting any on the turnovers before shoving them in the oven -- although I did brush on the egg wash. Then I sprinkled a cinnamon-sugar mixture on them after they cooled. I guess you can see a little of that in the above photo. Which is not as sharp as it should be but sometimes I don't seem to hold the camera as steady as other times. But that's okay. You get the idea.

Speaking of ideas -- I was thinking how terrific these turnovers would be in a savory version. Can you imagine a filling of some kind of salmon or shrimp spread? With maybe some tasty cheese included? And some coarse crystal kosher salt on top? Oh dear. Somebody talk me down. I simply cannot allow myself another dose of puff pastry too soon. One needs to space royal treats out in a more stately fashion, pace the bliss, so to speak. I'm pretty sure that's in the fine print somewhere.


John Bailey said...

Darn it! Now I'm going to have to have the breakfast I'd promised myself I'd skip!

Lovely, gum-mashing stuff, Dee!

kate et jim said...

Ah ha! I've been looking for something different to do with my puff pastry, other than fill it with sausage or peppers and eggs and bacon w/ cheese.

This will be in my oven next Sunday morning! yum!

Wendy said...

Dee, that sounds wicked good!

Dee said...

Sorry, John. Maybe if you had a good brekkie, you could skip elevenses?

Kate! You do puff pastry regularly? OMG. Can I live with you? Do we have recipe exchanges in place?

Ohyesindeedy, Wendy. I suspect "wicked" good is the best description of food like that. Which is an important factor in food selection, don't you think?

John Bailey said...

Coming back for another helping--they are exceeding more-ish--I find my immediate take on the first photo is the same. "My gosh-and-golly," I thought. "The good lady has gone into Samosas [exits stage left, sniggering quietly] :-)

Julie said...

You rock! I've never ventured making my own puff pastry, figuring the frozen puff pastry sheet people had it down and who am I to try to better them. However, after reading this, I think I'm going to give it a try! These sound (and look) to die for. When I buy the sheets, we usually stuff the squares with either apples/cinn/sugar, or spinach/nutmeg/feta/egg mixture. I LUVS me some puff pastry.