puff pastry pizzettes; a tuesdays with dorie post

How can you not love a recipe that isn’t actually a recipe?  These little pastries were simply a quickly thrown together snack to use up homemade puff pastry scraps; it is a crime to waste something that you put so much effort into preparing.  That said, I am afraid I just did not care for them.

The recipe is from Baking with Julia and was contributed by Michel Richard and it truly does call for the use of scraps from previously prepared puff pastry recipes.  The recipe, which really isn’t much more than a guidline, instructs you to place cherry tomatoes halves onto two inch rounds of dough and to top it with a little goat cheese before popping it into the oven to bake.  Honestly, as soon as I saw cherry tomatoes and goat cheese, I knew I was in trouble!

Sad but true fact, this Italian girl only likes cooked tomatoes if they are in the form of tomato sauce, otherwise, I avoid it like the plague.  Yes, I am that person who will pick the tomato chunks out of soup, don’t get me started on goat cheese, I have never been able to eat it!   However, in the spirit of following the “recipe” as it is written, I topped my little squares with a rosette of goat milk cream cheese from Trader Joe’s. If you shop there, they sell it with the cream cheese and it tastes just like regular cream cheese, at least pretty close to it.  With the cherry tomato halves in place, into the oven they went.

But that was just too simple.  Out of curiosity, I cut up some curried roasted vegetables and made a few squares.  Brussels sprout halves and thick slabs of kabocha squash were pressed into the cheese and baked along side of the tomato bites.  All in all, about 15 minutes of work for a few quick bites to give my husband a treat-he works so many hours that I really have become a kitchen widow.

Well, all is not lost, I have a lot more puff pastry dough in the freezer which means I will have scraps to work with again at some point and next time, I’m going with chocolate, or caramel, or maybe chocolate and caramel…

What I had to do to get that shot.  Yes, on the landing in the middle of the stairs but look at that window!  It let’s in the most amazing morning light and none of it was direct.  It is taking time to figure it all out but I have a feeling that I will be spending a lot of time on the stairs with my camera and a plate of food!

To see what the other bakers came up with, be sure to visit the Tuesdays with Dorie website and if you have a copy of the book, Baking with Julia, bake along with us as we bake our way through the book.  If that isn’t enough for you, we will also be baking from Dorie Greenspans new book, Baking Chez Moi starting in November.

sunny side up pastries; a tuesdays with dorie post

Well, we made it to Virginia.  It was a long drive that took two days and numerous stops.  If anybody asks, traveling with three cats and a dog is not any easier than traveling with kids.  Trust me, I have done both of these things and can honestly say that I really hope to never do that again.

We closed on our house two weeks ago and have moved in.  Now the only thing to do is finish unpacking and I am actively looking for ways to get out of that task.  Making a batch of tiny little pastries was just the diversion I was looking for!

If you recall, I am part of a group of people baking their way through the wonderful book, Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.  We have been at it for quite a while now and having missed the last few months, I am happy to be back at it.  For our first recipe in October, we chose the Sunny-side-up Apricot Pastries which first required making a batch of puff pastry or mille feuilles in French and both recipes were contributed to the book by Michel Richard.  To see Julia and Michel make these recipes, watch the video by following this link!

Michel’s recipe for the dough is a little different than most.  He instructs you to make a soft dough in the food processor and then rest it in the fridge before incorporating the butter.

my new house has lots of light but it also has walls the color of butter.  Nice and neutral I suppose but the make taking photos tricky.  The light always seems to be a bit on the yellow side.

 Puff pastry is one of those recipes that seems so intimidating but in truth, it is a simple recipe that just has a few rules that should never be broken.  Follow those rules and you will have a skill envied by those that think it is a difficult item to make.

 Seal the butter into the dough to make sure that it does not ooze out during the rolling process.

Flour is your friend; use lots, it is easier to brush off flour than to scrape the dough off the table.

Bakers trick, mark the dough with your finger tips; one indent per roll/fold.  Michel’s recipe calls for making the folds two at a time.  This means that you roll the dough out, brush off the flour, fold it and repeat the process.  Be sure to rest it in the fridge between steps so that the butter does not get too soft and the gluten can relax.

 Four down, two more to go!
 The view from the kitchen.
 My begonians traveled well and are liking the new window.

 The book calls for poaching apricots and cooking a batch of pastry cream.  Both of those ideas did not appeal to me.  We had some Cortland apples on the counter and I thought apples and frangipane sounded better.

 Although I have no idea which boxes contain what, I do know where all of my cutters are.  Priorities people, priorities!

 My half sized pastries with a tiny scoop of frangipane and a few slices of apples.
 Learning to shoot in this house is going to take some time.  The light is lovely but those walls…

 Just out of the oven.  The frangipane spread more than pastry cream would have but I like the flavor combination.

 We have a skylight and it lets in so much light.  Now I just need to learn to work with light from overhead!

 So far, I am liking my new place.  The neighbors I have met are all very friendly.  The only one with a problem is The Captain.  Remember him?  Our outdoor cat?  Well, he is now an indoor cat and let’s just say we are both adjusting to (his)life indoors…

Be sure to visit the Tuesdays with Dorie website to see how the other bakers did with this recipe.