Friday, 26 October 2012

Fun Things to do with Puff Pastry

My previous post was how to make puff pastry from scratch. This post is about the fun things you can make from puff pastry including Bande aux Fruite, Cream Horns, Eccles Cakes, and Palmiers

A Bande aux Fruite is an rectangle shaped fruit tart that is filled with pastry cream originating in France. 

Recipe: Bande aux Fruite
  • Puff pastry
  • Pastry cream (click here for recipe)
  • Fresh fruit of your choice (I used kiwi, strawberry and peach)
  • Apricot jam to glaze

  • Rolling pin
  • Knife
  • Non-stick board
  • Piping bag
  • Baking sheet with silicone paper

  1. Roll out the puff pastry to rectangle shape. Trim the sides so its straight edges.
  2. The side strips should be about 1 1/2cm thick.
  3. Dab water down the sides and lay strips on the long sides of the rectangles. Make a pattern on the strips if needed.
  4. Brush with egg wash and rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Prick the middle of the puff pastry to let the steam out. Cook at 215c/Gas Mark 7/ 425f for 15 mins.
  6. Once taken out of the oven and cooled. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag and pipe onto the middle of puff pastry.
  7. Cut desired fruit and place in lines to decorate.
  8. Heat up an apricot glaze to finish the fruit.

Cream horns are strips of puff pastry rolled around a horned mold (no jokes please) baked and filled with cream chantilly (icing sugar and whipped cream).

Recipe: Cream Horns
  • 200g puff pastry    
  • 100g jam
  • Cream Chantilly
  • Egg white
  • Caster sugar
  • Softened butter
  • Flour to dust

  • Rolling pin
  • Non stick board
  • Pastry brush
  • Knife
  • Cream Horn molds
  • Star nozzles
  • 2 piping bags
  • Baking sheet with silicone paper

  1.  Brush softened butter over the cream horn molds and flour them well.
  2. Roll out the puff pastry to 2mm thick very long rectangle.
  3. Trim off edges that measure 1 ½ cm wide.
  4. Start wrapping the pastry strip around the pointed end of the cream horn mold. Make sure the pastry overlaps slightly.
  5. Seal the end of pastry with egg white and dip the round horn end into caster sugar.
  6. Bake 220c/Gas Mark 7/ 425f for 20 minutes.
  7. Once cooled pipe a line of jam on flat end cream horn.
  8. Pipe in a swirl of cream.
  9. Dust the cream horns with icing sugar.

The eccles cake, rather puff pastry not really a cake, is named after the town in North England, and has been around since 1793. Some rather interesting nicknames for this 'cake' is fly cake, flies graveyard and squashed fly cake! This may be for the currents squashed into the cake. 

Recipe: Eccles Cakes
  • 250g Puff pastry
  • 100g Brown Sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 120g currents
  • A pinch of mixed spice
  • Egg white

  • Rolling pin
  • 2 Circle cutters
  • Baking sheet with silicone paper

  1. Roll out the pastry approximately 1.5mm thick.
  2. Cut out with a round, 4 inch cutter.
  3. Place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each piece.
  4. Fold the edges into the centre, sealing in the filling and then turn over.
  5. Either flatten with the palm of the hand.
  6. Wash the tops with egg white or water and dip into caster sugar.
  7. Make 3 slits on the top with aknife so the filling shows through.
  8. Allow 30 minutes resting time.
  9. Bake at 215c/Gas Mark 7/420f for 10 minutes
  10. Check after 10 minutes.

Recipe: Palmiers
The palmier, meaning palm tree, has very mysterious origins but has earned the nickname 'elephant ears' due to the shape. They can be made with cinnamon or dipped in chocolate or made with savoury ingredients. 

  • 250g Puff pastry
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Water

  • Rolling pin
  • Baking sheet with silicone paper
  • Small bowl

  1. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar on a clean work surface.
  3. Gently unfold one of the pastry sheets. Place the pastry sheet on top of the sugared work surface.
  4. Sprinkle the top side evenly with water and ½ of the sugar to within ½ inch of the edges. Gently press the sugar into the pastry.
  5. Using  rolling pin, gently roll out the dough into a 9 x 15 inch rectangle.
  6. Using your fingers, roll the dough length-wise into a long cylinder, as tightly as possible without stretching it. Stop when you reach the middle. Do this for both sides.
  7. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Using a sharp knife cut the dough crosswise so that you have little thin ‘scroll’ slices.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for an 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 220c/Gas Mark 7/425f and bake for 5 minutes.
  11. After 5 minutes reduce the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6/400f and bake for another 10 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven using a thin spatula transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

I hope you enjoyed this post about the wonders of puff pastry! 

Bake On!

Bake On! Penny x
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