I wonder how the days were when there was no puff pastry in the freezer.
Making a puff pastry is an art, an art of being patient. The dough is breathtakingly soft and pliable. There is an aura of romantacism while you handle the dough and roll carefully, quarter turns and striping/dotting The ingredients are just a few, but so many small details go into making the dough. I had little clue until then about the process, and how amazingly flaky, pure buttery it would be. The first bite I took after we baked one batch just blew my socks off. I instinctively remember closing my eyes and tasting the butter, the flakiness and the gazillion layers so thin and crispy. The effort paid off.
I signed up for my pastry workshop in San Francisco. It was on a cool September day more than a decade ago. Happily waking up at 5.30 that morning, I dreamt of a relaxing day, doing what I loved, filled with laughter and getting to know fellow food lovers. People rolling dough and looking all professional with hats and clean shoes is what was going through my mind as I sat on the bart that day. On the contrary, we were working in a cold room(mind you, I am very intolerant to cold temperatures and I get hives immediately), butter and flour on my jeans, my extra long hair in a bun was saved with the tall hat. It didn’t look anywhere like it looks in movies and books. Our pastry chef of the day was definitely not in the best of moods, although he was a great teacher. We learnt a lot, we made phyllo dough that day too. I absorbed so much that I was seriously sleeping and lethargic for the next few days.
My first batch was passable and I was a proud mama to a rectangular flaky buttery dough which I carried home and refused to bake for a week. 🙂
As much as I liked the process of puff pastry which took hours, the aching arms and the smell of butter lingering for days just makes me prefer the store bought ones. It’s one of those things I will take a short cut.
With some puff pastry sheets, few apples and some almonds, you have a stunning dessert/breakfast or tea time snack in 30 minutes. Pastry cream is so easy, this tastes so incredibly good and almost feels like you are eating at some nice patisserie.
You can make this with rhubarb, pears, and any stone fruit you like. Which ever fruit is in season.
I am making 100 of them for a party this weekend, so wish me luck. Leaving you with an easy dessert.
- 4 sheet of frozen puff pastry sheet(keep it refrigerated until use)
- 2 large crisp apples thinly sliced
- ½ cup raw almonds
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter(at room temperature)
- pinch of cardamom powder(optional)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ tsp lemon zest
- Sugar for sprinkling.
- Egg wash(1/2 egg beaten)
- Use a food processor to powder the almonds. Once it is powdered, add the egg, butter, all purpose flour, cardamom powder, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Process it until it all comes together in a smooth ball. Take it out and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Roll the puff pastry sheets and cut out circles. Transfer to a baking tray. Spread a tbsp of the Almond filling on each. Add some apple slices. Make sure to leave ½ inch space at the edge. Sprinkle with some sugar.
- Brush the outside edge with some egg wash.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes in a 400degree oven. Take it out and cool on a cooling rack.