Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hello Friends!

This is a new attempt for me, and I hope a successful one!
There have been times when I'd wished there was another way for me to share adventures or pictures other than just Facebook or Google+, and so I'm trying this!
My first blog is going to be...
Wait for it...
about FOOD! Haha!
My sister made these delicious pastries this morning, and seriously, they are to DIE for.
Some of you have asked for the recipe, so here it is!
Here is the Pastry Recipe:

Puff Pastry Recipe

Yield: @ 2 lbs or @ 910g worth of Puff Pastry
This recipe is based off of "The Professional Pastry Chef" by Bo Friberg


Butter Block Ingredients

  • 1 lb + 3 1/2 T (510g) cold unsalted Butter
  • 2 t (10ml) Lemon Juice
  • pinch of Salt
  • 1 c (130g) Bread Flour

Dough Ingredients

  • 3 c (400g) Bread Flour, approximately
  • 3 1/2 T (55g) soft unsalted Butter
  • 2 t Salt
  • 1 c (240ml) cold Water


Make Butter Blockpuff pastry recipe
1. In mixer w/ paddle attachment, work butter lemon juice, salt, and flour into a smooth paste.
2. On a sheet of wax paper, roughly form an approx. 6" square with the butter block mixture. Lay another piece of wax paper on top and smooth out the square & straighten the sides. Peel back each wax paper sheet & re-lay as it wrinkles to keep a smooth, even surface. After block's thickness & sides are even, refrigerate until firm.
Make the doughpuff pastry recipe
1. Sift flour onto your work surface (preferably something chilly like granite or marble slab) Pinch butter into chunks and place on top of flour. Continue pinching butter into flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
2. Now it's kind of like making fresh pasta. Shape into a mound, then make a well in the center of the mound. Add the salt & cold water into the well, then with a fork, use a whisking motion to gradually incorporate the well's sides into the water. When it starts to form a solid mass, finish incorporating the flour by kneading. Incorporate just until it is still sticky and has a rough texture. Adjust the water & flour as needed. Try to knead as little as possible. Puff pastry likes lazy kneaders.
3. Form dough into a ball, remember-knead as little as possible. Flatten the ball a bit, then cut a cross halfway through the dough. Wrap it up & let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
You'll want the Butter Block to have approximately the same consistency as the Dough, after the dough is rested. You don't want the butter rock hard, but not mushy soft, either. A dough that is softer than the butter will stretch while the butter doesn't. If the butter is softer than the dough, it will be pushed out the sides. Either suck to some degree. You may have to adjust chill/resting times for either dough or butter block so they are about the same. Kitchen temp., how long it took to make the dough, fridge temp., all affect the consistency of the Butter Block & Dough. Figure out adjustments to make so they'll work together homogeneously. It may take a time or two, but you'll get the hang of it. While everything is chilling, get to work. Clean that kitchen up. Then relax & get ready to assemble.
Assemblypuff pastry assembly
1. Pull the corners of the cuts out of the dough ball to make a square shape. Roll the dough out to a square slightly thicker in the center than on the sides, and slightly larger than the butter block.
2. Place the butter block diagonally on the dough square, so that the butter corners are pointed at the middle of the dough sides. Fold the uncovered dough corners over the butter block to completely envelop the butter. Pinch the seams tightly together to seal in the butter.
3. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/2" thick. Remember to keep dusting with flour whenever needed to keep the dough from sticking & tearing the layers.
4. Size up your rectangle visually into 3. Fold one third over the middle, then fold the opposite third over. Just like a tri-fold brochure. Try to have everything as even as possible. All the edges should match fairly closely. Put on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Relax, read the paper, check email, whatever you like.
5. Roll out to 1/2" thick and repeat the fold. Don't forget to flour as you roll. Plate, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat this for a total five roll & folds.
6. After the last fold, roll the rectangle out to about 3/4". If it is difficult, put dough in the fridge for a bit to relax the gluten. If using immediately, cover, rest in fridge for about 30 minutes, then use as needed. If it's for later, cut into sections big enough but that still fit easily in your freezer (usually just in half), layer with wax paper between sections, freezer bag it, & store until needed.

 I'm sure you can use any filling, but since I had Cherry Pie Filling on hand, my sister just used that.

And here is the Danish Recipe:
 This is a super easy and delicious recipe!

For the danish
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 can cherry pie filling
1 8oz pkg cream cheese
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla in cream cheese

For the icing
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract

OK...this is easy peasy...preheat your oven to 375 OR 400 if your oven is like mine (in need of repair). Thaw your puff pastry, unfold, and cut in to squares...make them whatever size you like. I like mine a little smaller.

Make cream cheese filling by heating your cream cheese in the microwave to soften. Just 10 seconds or so, you need to be able to stir it around. Mix in your sugar and vanilla.

Assemble by putting a blob (that's a technical term) of cream cheese in the middle of pastry square....I spread it out a little bit on the diagonal down the center. Dump (another technical term) some of your cherry pie filing over cream cheese. Take the two sides of the pastry that you didn't spread cream cheese on and fold over the center...pinch together so it stays closed. Bake for (crap I forgot to time it) ummmm maybe the pastry box will tell you? Maybe 12-15 mins? Maybe you just keep checking it? I sort of tell by smell...when I can smell it I check on it.

When you're done let the danish cool on a wire rack. I put the wire rack on top of the baking sheet I used so it catches the drizzle from the icing.

Now, on to the icing...just mix your powdered sugar, extracts and milk till you get a nice consistency for drizzling. Should run off the spoon, but not overly runny.  After the danish is cooled completely drizzle your icing.

I think she made a whole batch, and I'm pretty sure they won't last the day.
We ate them with hot coffee and chill time with family.
If you try them, I promise you'll love them!

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