Blackberry Mille-Feuille

So, you may be wondering what exactly a Mille-Feuille is? I know I was wondering that when a friend tagged me in an Instagram post for Ree Drummond’s Marvelous Mille-Feuille. Translated from French it means one thousand sheets, layer, or leaves. Still wondering? Well, it’s a dessert consisting of layers of puff pastry and cream… Think a Napoleon. For this version though I added in some blackberries along with a custard made with mascarpone cheese… YUM! A slight variation from Ree Drummond’s as she used raspberries. Why did I use blackberries? Well, it was because the recipe called for raspberry liqueur and since I still had some blackberry liqueur from last year’s White Chocolate Blackberry Tiramisu I decided to swap out the berries.

I began by thawing a frozen sheet of puff pastry according to the package directions – I used Pepperidge Farm’s Frozen Puff Pastry. Once it was defrosted I rolled it into a 12 x 15 inch rectangle and then cut it into three 12 x 5 inch rectangles. I placed the three pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and pricked it with a work and then placed it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes (alternatively you could place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.

While the puff pastry was in the fridge I preheated the oven to 425 F. Once the puff pastry was perfectly chilled, I sprinkled each rectangle with confectioners’ sugar…

And baked it in the oven from about 15 minutes. Until the puff pastry was a golden brown and puffy. I the transferred them to a wire rack to cool.

While the puff pastry cooled, I made the filling. In the bowl of my stand mixer I added confectioners’ sugar, mascarpone cheese, heavy cream and vanilla paste and whisked it until soft peaks formed. I then added in the blackberry liqueur and lemon zest and whisked for a few more second until the ingredients were combined.

It was then time to assemble. I placed a dab of the whipped mixture on a serving plate and place one of the puff pastry’s on the plate glaze-side down. I spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the puff pastry and then arranged half of the blackberries on top.

I repeated this with another puff pastry rectangle and the remaining mascarpone mixture and berries. I then topped it with the remaining puff pastry rectangle and before serving I dusted it with more confectioners’ sugar.

Verdict… It was a hit! I can’t wait to make it again using freshly picked berries… Maybe I’ll try making it with raspberries next.

Blackberry Mille-Feuille

Ingredients:

1 14-oz. sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting the pastry and the finished dish

8 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons blackberry liqueur

zest of 1 lemon

3 – 4 cups fresh blackberries

 

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unfold the pastry and roll it to a 12 x 15 inch rectangle and then cut into three 12 x 5 inch rectangles. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and prick the pastry with a fork and chill for 10 minutes in the freezer or 20 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Dust the pastry with confectioners’ sugar and bake until golden brown and puffy, about 15 minutes. All to cool for about 15 minutes on a wire rack.

In a bowl add the confectioners’ sugar, mascarpone, heavy cream and vanilla paste/extract, beat until soft peaks form – If using a stand mixer use the whisk attachment. Add the blackberry liqueur and lemon zest and continue mixing for an additional 10 seconds to ensure the ingredients are all combined.

To Assemble: Dab a dollop of the mascarpone mixture on the serving plate and place one piece of the pastry on the plate – glaze-sized down (the side you sprinkled the sugar on). Spoon half of the mascarpone mixture on the pastry and smooth it out evenly. Arrange half of the blackberries on top and repeat with another piece of pasty and the remaining mascarpone mixture and blackberries. Top with the remaining pastry piece and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond

Apple-Blackberry Galette

About a month ago I went apple picking and while I had plans to bake a variety of things with said apples they were just too good that I ended up eating most of them. (I should be keeping the doctor away for quite some time.) But, after picking up a pint of blackberries recently I remembered a recipe I had for an Apple-Blackberry Galette that I decided to try out before eating up the last of my apples. In case you are wondering, I’ve been able to keep the apples fresh by placing them in the drawer at the bottom of my refrigerator.

While my puff pastry thawed I prepped my filling. I began by melting butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and adding the apples (which I peeled, cored and sliced about a 1/4-inch thick), sugar and ginger. Once the apples began to soften I removed them from the heat and let them cool.

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While the apples cooled I prepped the rest of the filling. I tossed blackberries with sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a large bowl. Once the apples were cool I added them to the blackberries and gently tossed them to combine.

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Once the puff pastry was thawed I rolled it out on a floured surface and then transferred it to piece of parchment paper that I placed on a cookie sheet. I refrigerated it for about 15 minutes…

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Then removed it from the refrigerator and spooned the filling in the center of the puff pastry and folded and pleated the dough around the filling. I brushed the dough with an egg wash, sprinkled sugar on it and then returned it to the refrigerator for about 25 minutes.

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And finally I baked the galette in a 400 F oven for about a half hour… Until the filling was bubbling and the crust was golden brown. I let it settle for a few minutes before slicing it. The juices of the fruit were a bit runny, so, I think next time I will use flour to bind the fruit together as opposed to the cornstarch. Overall though it was delicious!

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Apple-Blackberry Galette

Ingredients:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2 pounds) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 cup blackberries (about 10 ounces)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

While the puff pastry is thawing prep the filling. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, 2 tablespoons sugar and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until softened. Let cool.  Toss the blackberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, the cornstarch, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a large bowl. Once the apples have cooled gently toss them into the mixture.

Once the puff pastry has thawed roll it out on a floured surface into a 12-inch square. Transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Place the filling in a small mound in the center of the puff pastry and fold and pleat the pastry dough over the fruit. Brush it with an egg wash – beat the egg with a teaspoon of water – and sprinkle with sugar. Return to the refrigerator for about 25-30 minutes and then bake in the preheated oven. Let cool before slicing in.

Recipe from Food Network

Orange Scented Elephant Ears

Whether you call them Palmiers or Elephant Ears, one thing is certain they are super simple to make and delish! Truthfully anyone can make these cookies, even those of you who swear you cannot bake. All you need is frozen puff pastry, sugar, and in this case orange zest.

To begin thaw out a sheet of frozen puff pastry. While the puff pastry is thawing take a tablespoon of orange zest and combine it with a 1/3 cup of granulated sugar.

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Once the puff pastry is ready, lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter and roll the puff pastry out on it into a rectangle, sprinkle it evenly with sugar on the top and bottom as you go.

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Then pour melted butter in the middle of the puff pastry and spread it around using an offset spatula. Then sprinkle the orange zested sugar over the butter.

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Next, cut the puff pastry in half crosswise and roll the shorter end towards the middle.

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Do the same with the opposite end and pinch the two rolls together. Wrap them in plastic wrap for about an hour until firm. Once they are firm place them on a cutting board, seam side down, and cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices and place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Bake them in a 425 F preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Flip them when you have about 3 or 4 minutes left to the baking to ensure that they brown nicely on both sides. Once out of the oven transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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So, yes, these may take a little time to make with the thawing and refrigerating, but, they are completely doable and look quite fancy.

 

Orange Scented Elephant Ears

  • Servings: 22 cookies
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Ingredients:

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

 

Directions:

Put 1/3 cup of the sugar in a small bowl with the orange zest and stir until blended, set aside.

Arrange a large piece of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Roll out the puff pastry on the plastic wrap into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Sprinkle both sides with the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar to prevent sticking – you won’t use the entire amount. Pour the melted butter into the center of the rectangle and using an offset spatula spread the butter evenly. Sprinkle the reserved orange zested sugar evenly over the butter.

Cut the dough in half crosswise (you’ll have two 10 x 7 1/2-inch rectangles.) Starting with one of the shorter ends, roll the puff pastry towards the center. Repeat with the opposite edge until the 2 rolls meet. Pinch the rolls so they stick together. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Wrap the rolls in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour until firm.

Preheat the oven to 425 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Once firm, place the rolls on a cutting board, seam side down, and slice them into 1/2 inch thick slices. Arrange them on the prepared cookie sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart. Bake until golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Turn over and bake for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on them because I baked them for a total of 12 minutes and ended up flipping them at about 9 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Serve immediately or cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe from Fine Cooking

Quick & Easy Apple Tarts

Do you sometimes want an apple pie, but, you don’t really want to go through all the trouble to make one? Even if you are using a store-bought crust – I have no qualms in saying that’s usually my go-to way of “making” pie crust – it can still be a bit time and labor consuming. So, if you are ever feeling like that or you are feeling like that right now I have the remedy for you. A pair of Apple Tarts that take just about an hour to make – that includes prep and bake time – and only requires six ingredients!

To begin thaw out a puff pastry sheet for about 20-30 minutes. You don’t want it to become warm and mushy, but, you also don’t want it to be partially frozen. Once you are able to unfold it, it’s ready to be used. Slice it in half – a pizza cutter works best – and place both pieces on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

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While the puff pastry is defrosting make your apple filling. Core three apples…

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Then thinly slice them. It’s important to slice the apples as thin as possible this way they will cook (i.e. soften) during the short baking time.

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Next add in lemon juice, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Let the apples sit until the puff pastry is ready to be filled.

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Once the puff pastry is ready and you have sliced it in half arrange the apples in a single line.

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Bake in a 415 F preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry has puffed and is lightly golden.

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Remove the tarts from the pan and transfer them to a cutting board to cool.

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Or, immediately cut off a piece and enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There’s nothing like a warm apple treat with a scoop of ice cream on top of it.

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Overall these were incredibly easy to make and wonderfully delicious, but, there’s one thing I think I would change when I make these again… I’ll peel the apples this way it’ll be easier to take a bit out of them. The peel holds you back a little from taking clean bites… At least it does for me.

Baked Apple Tarts

Ingredients:

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed and cut in half

3 apples, cored and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of lemon juice (approximately juice from half a lemon)

1 cup light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 415 F.

While the puff pastry is thawing prepare the apple filling by coring and slicing the apples then tossing them with the lemon juice, sugar, salt and cinnamon.

Once the puff pastry has thawed slice it half and place it on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.

Arrange the apples on the puff pastry in a thin overlapping line.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden and puffed. Transfer the tarts to a cutting board or serving platter immediately.

Recipe slightly modified from The Pioneer Woman

Mixed Berry Galette

The unofficial end of summer is upon us… Labor Day. While the day temps feel like summer the drop in the evening temps definitely signal the arrival of Fall is imminent, kids are heading back to school and everywhere you look there is something flavored pumpkin. I am not complaining though… Fall is by far my favorite of the four seasons. I love the crispness in the air, apple picking, the leaves changing colors and the return of scarf season. If you didn’t know, I love scarves!!! But before all that fun begins I have one last summer themed dessert… A Mixed Berry Galette. While you can get berries – blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc. – anytime of the year, summer is when they are at their peak.

Just look at how vibrant and delicious these berries look…

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While you could make your dough from scratch, I opted to go the easier and quicker route by using a puff pastry sheet. After thawing the sheet out I rolled it on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. I then transferred it to a parchment lined cookie sheet and placed it the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

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Following that I put my berries – which I tossed with corn starch, sugar and salt – in a small mound in the center of the sheet and folded the edges around it. I brushed the edges with an egg wash – an egg beaten with a teaspoon of water – and sprinkled granulated sugar on it.

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After refrigerating it for 15 minutes I the baked it in a 400 F preheated oven for 30 minutes – until the puff pastry was golden brown and the berries were bubbling. Unfortunately my galette opened up a bit while baking.

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That didn’t affect the taste though; once it cooled I cut myself a piece and was quite pleased with how something so quick and simple could turn into something so delicious!

Mixed Berry Galette

Ingredients:

1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed

All-purpose flour, for dusting

1 large egg, for brushing the pastry

3 cups mixed berries – strawberries, blueberries, blackberries

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup granulated sugar*, plus more for sprinkling the puff pastry

1/4 teaspoon salt

*If you would like your galette on the sweeter side add a tablespoon or two more sugar.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the puff pastry into a 12-inch square on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the sheet to the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Make the filling by tossing the berries with the cornstarch, sugar and salt.

Place the fruit in the center of the puff pastry in a small mound and fold the edges of the sheet over the fruit, overlapping the sheet as you fold.

Brush the pastry with an egg wash – the egg lightly beaten with a teaspoon of water – and then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Bake until the edges are golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 30 – 35 minutes.