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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Puff Pastry Wrapped With French Brie Cheese, Strawberry Honey Jam, And Walnuts- A Thanksgiving Day Brunch

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This holiday I’m making brunch for some friends. They’re going to be making the turkey, ham, and all the sides. I thought it is a nice gesture to bring them a couple of my special brunch items. I’m also going to bring my stuffing muffins and frittata muffins.

Most of the time, people are always dropping by throughout the day.  I thought it would be really nice if there were food there that could be served at room temperature.

First, my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese with Strawberry Honey Jam and Walnuts.

Second, are my MiniItalianSausage, Asparagus, and Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas.

Finally, were my Stuffing Muffins, filled with my sweet Italian Sausage, golden raisins, celery, onions, and fresh sage.

For this post, I’m going to share my recipe for my Puff Pastry Wrapped French Brie Cheese With Strawberry Honey Jam And Walnuts.  The other two recipes will follow soon.

Equipment: baking sheet, pastry brush
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Oven Temperature: 400 degrees F.
Cook Time: 15 minutes or until golden brown

Ingredients:
1 sheet of cold thawed puff pastry
1-13 ounce ( 5 inches in diameter) Brie cheese wheel
3 tablespoons of strawberry honey jam ( or fig jam)
2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts
egg wash- 1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of Apricot jelly
1 tablespoon of very hot  water
5 inches of kitchen twine
Sanding sugar

Directions:
Note: Remove the puff pastry, the night before, from the freezer, and transfer it to the refrigerator. The dough needs to be cold but completely thawed.

On your board, lay out one sheet of puff pastry. Roll the sheet out until it’s 1/8 inch in thickness. You want to make sure it’s large enough to cover the wheel of Brie and come together to be tied at the top. Refer to the pictures above. Transfer the pastry carefully to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

Lay the wheel in the center of the rectangle shaped pastry. Using a spoon, add the jam over the top of the cheese and spread to cover the entire top of the wheel. Next, sprinkle on the chopped walnuts.

Bring each of the sides up to the top collecting them to come together at the top center so it can be tied up like a package. Using the kitchen twine, tie the overlapping pastry at the top together. Using your fingers spread the pastry out where it meets together at the top for presentation. Trim the twine as close as possible so as not to see the string.

Brush the entire pastry package with egg wash. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

In a small bowl, whisk together the apricot jelly and hot water together until there are no lumps. Once the pastry is out of the oven, brush the apricot glaze all over the outside of the pastry. Sprinkle sanding sugar liberally all over. Carefully cut the twine.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into. Serve with your favorite crackers.

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Savory And Sweet Puff Pastry Treats

 

 

Puff Pastry is a staple in my house. I use Puff Pastry for both sweet and savory recipes. I’ve been making these two for many years.  Ina Garten, from the Food Network, also had an episode where she made these recipes. What was crazy about it was, my recipe for Elephant Ears was close to Ina Garten’s recipe. The Cheese Straws, well they were a bit different. I used Grana Padano cheese with mine, whereas she used two kinds of cheese, Parmesan and Gruyere. When I made this recipe, I added the Gruyere to mine too and they were delicious. Two kinds of cheese are better than one!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 16 elephant ears
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, parchment paper, and rolling pin

Ingredients: (for one sheet of puff pastry)
1 cup of granulated sugar divided into 2 bowls (1/2 cup per bowl)
1/8 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

Directions For The Elephant Ears:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

The first thing is to move the puff pastry to the frig the day before so it will thaw out overnight. You want to work with it as cold as possible. Set up two bowls, one with granulated sugar mixed with a pinch of Kosher, and one with sugar and cinnamon combined.

Spread the bowl with the sugar and salt mixture all over a flat surface like my cutting board. A marble surface is fine too. I unfold the pastry and lay in right on top of the sugar mixture. The top of the pastry, pour the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly all over covering the top. So now there’s sugar on the bottom surface of the pastry, and cinnamon sugar on the top surface.

You need to move quickly so the dough remains as cold as possible. Take a rolling pin and roll the pastry out into a rectangle, about 12 inches square. Doing this it allows for the sugar to be pushed into the pastry on both sides. Next, fold the sides of the square towards the center so they meet in the middle. Repeat this process again with those halves to the folds meet in the middle, as shown in the pictures above. Then fold both halves on top of each other making 6 layers.

Next, slice the dough into slightly under 1-inch slices. Place the slices, cut side up onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the pastry for 5 minutes, or until the bottoms are caramelized and brown, then flip them over with a spatula, and bake for another 4 to 5 minutes. This will allow for the other side to caramelize. Carefully move each one to a rack to cool.

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 24 cheese straws
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets pans, food processor parchment paper, pizza cutter

Ingredients:
2 sheets of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry thawed overnight in the frig
1 large egg for the egg wash (beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Grana Padano cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 cup of freshly grated Gruyere cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 teaspoon of freshly minced basil leaves
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Cheese Straws:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
First, grate the cheese in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Once all the cheese has been grated, then roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board. You want it to be a rectangle, about roughly 10 by 12 inches.

Divided equally into two bowls add the grated Gruyere, Grana Padano cheese, chopped basil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Brush egg wash over the top surface of one of the pastry sheets.  From one of the prepared cheese bowls, spread the cheese over the top of the brushed pastry.

Using a rolling pin, press the cheese mixture into the pastry. Next, use a pizza cutter to slice crosswise the pastry into 10 strips. Twist each strip and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each one over and bake for another 2 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on them, watching that the cheese doesn’t burn.

Cool and serve at room temperature.

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Apple Roses

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Every now and then I come across a recipe that catches my eye. I love to put my own spin on any new recipe. It just so happens, it’s Steve’s birthday today so I thought I’d surprise him with these Red Apple Roses. 

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive prep time: 1 hour (to defrost pastry)
Cook Time:  35 to 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 roses
Equipment: muffin tin pan

Ingredients:
2 Red and Delicious apples sliced as thinly as possible (1/16th of an inch)
1/2 cup of Apricot preserves
1 lemon juiced
4 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon for the apricot preserves (for red roses, substitute plum jam)
1 sheet of thawed Puff pastry cut into 6 equal strips
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of Turbinado sugar
powdered sugar
garnish with sprigs of fresh mint

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Prepare the apples.
Start by removing the core and thinly slicing two Red and Delicious apples. In a small bowl filled half-way with water add the juice of one lemon. Place the sliced apples into the lemon water and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, to soften, allowing the apples to be pliable. Using a mesh strainer, drain off all the water. Return the apples to the bowl and set aside.

Prepare the jam.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the apricot preserves and 1 tablespoon of water. Stir together and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix with a spoon so that the preserves have a thick syrup-like consistency. I also have some ground cinnamon for the apples. It adds warm sweetness to the apples.

Prepare the dough.
Flour your cutting board or marble surface with flour. Roll the pastry out until it’s half the thickness (almost double in length), and the creases are smooth. Cut into 6 equal strips crosswise, approximately 2 inches wide.

Assemble the apples.
Lay the pastry strips down and brush the jam over each one. Place the apple slices along the top half of each strip. laid out in an overlapping style. Evenly sprinkle the ground cinnamon over each strip. Fold up the bottom half of the strip, then carefully roll up each one until you have formed a rose.

Brush the apricot preserves over the pastry dough and lay the apple slices where they hang over the edge of the pastry. Sprinkle a pinch of ground cinnamon over each apple. Grab one end of the dough and roll up the pastry very gently.

Place the roses in buttered greased muffin tins and lightly dust each one with a little Turbinado sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Brush the tops of the roses with the remaining apricot jam. The apricot jam gives the roses a beautiful shine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Once the roses have cooled, arrange them on a beautiful dessert plate. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint and dust with a little powdered sugar.

Note: If you prefer red roses, substitute a plum jam.

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Puff Pastry Pear Tarts

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This dessert is as easy as 1. 2, 3.  Puff pastry is the best thing since sliced bread. I always keep a box in my freezer, because you can pull a dessert together fast. For this recipe you can use apples with maybe some caramel sauce. Really just anything that’s in season or that looks good to you. Steve loves pears so that’s what I’m using here. First I take the frozen box of puff pastry and thaw it overnight in the frig. You want to keep the dough cold. I have 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper. I lay one sheet of the pastry  out on the counter and cut it in half, giving you four halves per box.

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With a small knife, I score a line, but not cutting all the way through. I do this all the way around the edge about 2 inches in from the outer edge. This will allow for a boarder that will puff up around the fruit. I have four pears that I have peeled and cored and let sit in a bowl with some  fresh lemon juice. This way the  pears won’t turn brown until I’m ready to lay them out on the pastry sheets.

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In a small sauce pan I have 1 stick of unsalted butter that I’ve melted along with 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar, Light or dark is fine. Once that’s melted and mixed together well, I’ll start laying the pear slices out onto one of the pastry sheets.

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I take a pastry brush and brush the sugar butter mixture over the pears of all 4 halves. I do a little something different here and this is totally optional. I sprinkle a little chili powder all over the top of the sugar butter mixture to add a bit of heat to the mix. So you get a sweet heat flavor. You could even use some cayenne pepper if you wanted.

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What I like to do is put 2 of the halves in the oven at one time, and keep the other two trays ready in the frig to go in next. This will ensure they will bake evenly only using one of the racks in my oven. Now if you’re lucky enough to have a duel oven, then don’t be scared, you can do them all at once. They will bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes.  While this is baking on the top of the stove I have 1/2 a cup of fig jam. It’s really sweet and when you brush it over the pastry and fruit after it’s done baking, it will put a glossy shine and will allow the Turbinado sugar to adhere to the top.

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When the tarts come out of the oven brush on the fig jam over the fruit and all the edges,and sprinkle on the Turbinado sugar.

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That’s all there is to it. I’d say that’s pretty easy. Serve with some sweetened whipped cream and you have an elegant dessert that was no trouble at all.

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