Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Project Puff

Spring has sprung here in Vancouver, evidenced by cherry-blossom lined streets and the accompanying pollen. I even dared to get my winter coat dry-cleaned and stored this week, although my boots are still on stand-by. These transitional seasons can often be disorienting to me, a person who admittedly does not deal well with change. I am a creature of habit who prefers repetition and routine with an occasional dose of interesting.

Inverted puff pastry

My interesting experience over the past two weeks was playing around with pâte feuilletée (puff pastry). It has been probably over two years since I have bothered to make puff pastry at home by hand (at work with a sheeter does not count). And since the weather is still cool, I decided to make inverted puff pastry (where the butter layer starts on the outside instead). Four folds later (single, double, single, double), I had more puff dough than Eric and I should ever consume alone. Luckily, it freezes nicely and was portioned over the last two weeks into five different products to be shared amongst friends.

Tarte tatin
The tarte tatin and strawberry-lemon cream mille feuille were victims of my over-zealous oven. My puff dough browned too quickly, leaving it underbaked in the centre, as you can witness in the mille feuille's cross-section. Next time, I will also vent the tarte tatin during baking to lessen the residual cooking juices in order to keep the puff crust crispy, not soggy.

Strawberry-lemon cream mille feuille

After some temperature regulation issues were resolved, my vol-au-vents baked properly but a few decided to slouch over to one side, much like my top-heavy hyacinths currently blooming in the garden. I think I need to practice shaping and assembling these again to redeem myself.

Fruity vol-au-vents

Finally, no puff pastry project is complete without using up leftover scraps to make palmiers and/or cinnamon straws. These crispy little munchies are so easy and make my frugal heart sing. In fact, I might use up my residual unused puff dough to make these tasty morsels instead. Everything tastes better with cinnamon sugar on it, doesn't it?

Cinnamon straws & palmiers

2 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

It's still not quite spring here yet; so please enjoy it for me!! :-)

Lovely pastry!!

Kamana said...

These look sooo good. We don't get ready-made puff pastry where I live, and I just cannot be bothered to make my own. But I miss it so much. Is there a quick short cut to making it?