Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Morning Puff!

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You've no doubt made your quick puff pastry by now, right?  It's resting in the fridge, awaiting the artful press and roll of your pin.  The fillings are giddy with anticipation of being paired with such a magnificently flaky beast.

You have made it, haven't you?  I mean, you at least have the ingredients ready.  It is quick, so it's not as if you have to make it this very second.  It's not like you'll hurt my feelings or anything if you haven't or if you don't.  Ahem.





Let's assume that you hadn't planned on making my quick puff for Thanksgiving (just thinking that you won't makes my heart hurt).  Perhaps you're traveling; you don't have the comfort of your kitchen wares to give you great confidence in some foreign culinary arena.

This is exactly why you need this stuff in your life!  It's the great "on the move" pastry (it's also what I like to call the "gateway" pastry, leading you to the harder stuff like traditional puff, croissant, danish.  Oh my!).

Just look at that puff!  That flake!  How can you deny it?



Here's why:  You can make it in any old large bowl.  You don't need any special equipment, not even a measuring cup or scale (although, I despair for you if you're staying in an abode that doesn't have a measuring cup).

Here's what you'll need:

•1 large mixing bowl

•1 (2 pound bag) of all purpose flour.  See! You just buy a 2 pound bag.  No weighing.  No measuring.


•2 pounds of unsalted butter, cold and cut into large cubes.  2 pounds of butter = 8 sticks = 32 ounces or 2 of those handy dandy boxes of butter.  Again, easy peasy.

•1 tablespoon salt.  Grab a spoon.  Put salt in it.  Put it in your large bowl with the flour and butter chunks.  voila!  Salt.

•The last thing you'll need is 1 1/4 cups water.  But you've just told me you are holed up in the hinterland, that cold and dark place that doesn't contain a single measuring implement.  Don't fret!  Look down at what you're holding in your hand.  That's right!  That Solo cup filled to the brim with vodka is going to get you through this.  Transfer the contents of your beverage to another vessel.  Take a look at the side of the cup.  Check the pic below.  That 5 ounce mark is what we're aiming for.  There are 8 ounces in 1 cup of water.  10 ounces in 1 1/4 cups water.  So fill that Solo cup with icy cold water to that 5 ounce mark twice.



Now you can make pie.  AND you you'll have plenty of puff left over so you can make breakfast treats to pair with your tumbler of vodka.  You can make so many darn things with quick puff and now you have absolutely NO excuse not to make it.

You're welcome.

MORNING PUFF

(makes 6 pastries)

INGREDIENTS

Approximately 1/3 of a block of quick puff.  Click this link for my pumpkin pie and you find full instructions.  Scroll down a bit (you can also MAKE this pie, if you like) and you'll see a super duper photo demo.

4 ounces (1/2 block) cream cheese, room temperature

3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

1 egg, beaten

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract or almond extract or vanilla bean paste (all optional)

A few tablespoons Sugar in the Raw

Jam and berries for assembly

PROCEDURE

•Preheat oven to 375º.

•Roll out the puff into a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick.



•Cut the dough into 6 squares.

Cut along the perimeter but don't cut all the way around. 


•Cut the squares along the sides as indicated in the photo.

Bend one side over...

One side bent.  Now grab the other side and pull it over.  Press very gently along the edges to adhere


•Pull on end over and press gently (see pic)

•Pull the other end over brush some beaten egg on top of the pastry and press along the edges VERY gently.  Sprinkle with Sugar in the Raw.

•Stir the remaining beaten egg, the cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, salt and extract (if using) in a small bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth.

•Place a hefty tablespoon of filling inside the little dam you've created in the middle of the pastry.

•Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is beautifully puffed and golden brown.  Place a dollop of jam of your choice (I used lingonberry) and top with a few berries.

Fresh out of the oven.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
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