More Puff Pastry Ideas

Wotchers!

A few years ago I made a post on what you can do with a roll of ready-made puff pastry and a bit of sugar, and this week’s post is an Italian-inspired addition to those ideas.

First up – Palmines!

palms

The name Palmine obviously has the same root as the French Palmiers, but in my opinion they are a lot closer visually to a palm leaf shape than the double-curled traditional shape. Also, they are a lot simpler to make. If you’ve ever despaired of your Palmiers expanding/unrolling as they bake, then this is the recipe for you, because it is precisely this effect that gives Palmines their distinctive shape.

Palmines

1 box ready-rolled puff pastry
caster sugar to taste

  • Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Unroll the puff pastry and sprinkle with 2-3tbs caster sugar, or to taste.
  • Roll the pastry up from the short end into a log.
  • Sprinkle more sugar and roll the log into it, coating the outside.
  • Cut the log into slices about 1.5cm wide.
  • Lay the slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave 5cm between each one to allow for the pastry expanding during baking. NB If you use a fan oven and like your pastry rich and dark like the photo above, use a plain baking sheet (with no upstanding edge). If you prefer a more golden colour, use a baking tray (with a small, 2cm or so, upstanding edge), which will help shield the pastry from the harshest heat.

spiralcut

  • Using a sharp knife, make a cut from the edge to the centre of each slice as shown above. NB Make sure the cut starts from the outside edge of the end of the pastry.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around 180 degrees and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. The heat of the oven will cause the rolls to unfurl into the leaf shaped pastries in the photo above. This is a longer bake and at a lesser heat than usual, to ensure the pastries are cooked through and so retain their crispness even when cold.
  • Cool on a wire rack and, when cold, store in an airtight container.

owls-puffs

I’ve no idea what these are supposed to be, because I borrowed a technique from shaping Danish pastry dough. I used exactly the same method for both with one difference: the pastries on the left were made from a sheet that was chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes after rolling. The chilled pastry kept it’s vertical spiral, making the baked pastries look like owls, to me at least. The unchilled pastry also held the spiral, but spread outward during baking, making for a much ‘chunkier’ finished effect, like little plump cushions.

Owls/Cushions

1 box ready-rolled puff pastry
caster sugar to taste

  • Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Unroll the puff pastry and sprinkle with 2-3tbs caster sugar, or to taste.
  • Roll the pastry up from the short end into a log.
  • Sprinkle more sugar and roll the log into it, coating the outside.
  • If you want to make the more owl-ish pastries, wrap the roll of sugared dough in the paper it came in, and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes, then continue as below.
  • Cut the rolled and sugared dough into triangles as in the diagram below.

diamondcut

  • Lay the slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave 5cm between each one to allow for the pastry expanding during baking. NB If you use a fan oven and like your pastry rich and dark like the left photo above, use a plain baking sheet (with no upstanding edge). If you prefer a more golden colour as on the right, use a baking tray (with a small, 2cm or so, upstanding edge), which will help shield the pastry from the harshest heat of the oven.
  • Take a skewer, bamboo or round metal, and press it down firmly into each pastry, as shown in the last picture above. Press down enough to compress the pastry through to the last layer, but not so hard as you end up cutting the pastry triangle in two. Ease the skewer from the pastry gently to avoid spoiling the shape.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around 180 degrees and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. The heat of the oven will cause the rolls to puff up into the owl/cushion-shaped pastries in the photo above. This is a longer bake and at a lesser heat than usual, to ensure the pastries are cooked through and so retain their crispness even when cold. Since these pastries have more volume than others on this page, they will probably need the full 30 minutes in order to bake through. Check the insidesare fully baked by cutting open a ‘test’ one before removing them from the oven. If the pastry isn’t fully baked, they will become heavy and soggy when cold.
  • Cool on a wire rack and, when cold, store in an airtight container.

fan1
I’ve already detailed one method to produce fan-shaped pastries in the previous post on Puff Pastry Ideas, but I thought I’d include this one two merely because it has less/different cutting and folding.

Fans, aka Ventaglietti

1 box ready-rolled puff pastry
caster sugar to taste

  • Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Unroll the puff pastry and sprinkle with 2-3tbs caster sugar, or to taste.

fanfold1

  • Fold the pastry in half, placing the short ends together, to determine the middle, then fold each short side towards the middle in concertina folds.

fanfold2

  • When you reach the middle, fold one side onto the other, with the pastry enclosing all the folds.

fanfold3

  • Roll a rolling pin back and forth over the pastry to compress all the folds.
  • Roll the folded pastry in caster sugar to coat the outsides.
  • Cut the folded pastry into 2cm slices.
  • Lay the slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Leave 5cm between each one to allow for the pastry expanding during baking. NB If you use a fan oven and like your pastry rich and dark, use a plain baking sheet (with no upstanding edge). If you prefer a more golden colour, use a baking tray (with a small, 2cm or so, upstanding edge), which will help shield the pastry from the harshest heat of the oven.
  • Pinch the closed edge of each slice and give a half twist to keep the pastry from expanding – this will make the fans open during baking tinto the traditional shape. Don’t fret too much about this: if they don’t hold together, they will bake into shapes smiliar to the Croissant Waves of a few months ago, which is equally attractive, I think.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the tray around 180 degrees and bake for a further 10-15 minutes. The heat of the oven will cause the slices to unfurl into the fan-shaped pastries in the photo above. This is a longer bake and at a lesser heat than usual, to ensure the pastries are cooked through and so retain their crispness even when cold.
  • Cool on a wire rack and, when cold, store in an airtight container.

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Sfogliatine Glassate – Glazed Puff Pastries

Next to the spartan ingredients for other pastries on this page, these delectable bites are positively indulgent with four – yes, that’s right – FOUR ingredients. Heavens to Betsy, Murgatroyd!  By turns sweet, crunchy, flaky, sharp – they are just the thing to accompany a mid-morning coffee or as an afternoon snack. The icing puff up around the apricot jam to form a crisp layer with softness underneath. The apricot jam caramelises in places for a chewy texture as well as a burst of tartness against the icing sugar. These pastries seem to be extremely popular in Italy, but as something to buy in a packet rather than something to make at home, which seems bizarre given they are so easy to make and so delicious to eat fresh.

1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
150g icing sugar
1 large egg-white
100g apricot jam

  • Unroll the pastry and smooth it flat.
  • Chill the pastry in the freezer for 15 minutes. This will make it easier to get a clean cut when dividing it up.
  • Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
  • Cut the pastry into 3-4cm strips and in half longways as per the image below.

  • Arrange the pastry on a baking sheet line with parchment paper.
  • Whisk the eggwhite and icing sugar together until thickened (royal icing).
  • Spread a generous (5mm) layer of icing over each finger of pastry. An offset pallet knife is useful for this.
  • Warm the jam a little and sieve or puree to remove any lumps.
  • Spoon the warm jam into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle/tip.
  • Pipe 3 large Xs of jam onto each finger of iced pastry as below.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the icing is puffed and tinted a pale brown and the pastry is cooked through. NB Check the underside to make sure it is browned to your liking.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy warm and, when cold, store in an airtight container.


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