I always loved puff pastry. The incredible amount of layers and an irresistible buttery taste are just on top of the list of the reasons why I like it so much. There is just one trick – if you want a really good one, you have to make it yourself. You have to use a proper 82% fat butter and spend several hours rolling the pastry and chilling it. It’s a commitment you make, but every second you spend on it will be worth, the end result is amazing. But, I don’t always have the time to make that commitment, sometimes you have to make a small short cut. I discovered this Quick Puff Pastry recipe. It is actually really simple and works perfect for both sweet and savoury pastries (I think some savoury stuff will be coming next week maybe).
The final texture is very flaky and taste taste buttery. I was honestly surprised by how good this pastry is compared to the amount of work you need to put in. I’m not saying it is a perfect replacement of a puff pastry, because I think you should take the time to make some at least once, but, it’s a good quick option. Definitely worth a try.
Quick Clementine Neapolitans
adapted from Christophe Felder
adapted from Christophe Felder
For the Quick Puff Pastry:
- 200 g flour,
- 2 tbsp sugar,
- 2 tsp salt,
- 240 g butter, chilled and diced,
- 90 ml ice-cold water,
- 25 g confectioner sugar.
- Place the flour in a big bowl and make a well in the middle.
- Add the sugar, salt and butter into the well and rub the flour and butter together until you get fine crumbs.
- Add the cold water and knead the dough to bring it together.
- Continue kneading until the dough is smooth.
- Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in a freezer.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it’s 3-4 mm thick.
- Trim the tough to a 30 by 40 cm rectangle and transfer to a baking sheet
- Prick the dough with a fork and cover with a parchment paper. Place a wire rack or another baking sheet on top on the pastry.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 180 C, until golden.
- Remove from the oven. Turn the temperature up to 220 C.
- Sift confectioner sugar on top of the pastry and return to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar is caramelised. Watch it carefully, so that it doesn’t burn.
For the Pastry Cream:
- 250 ml whole milk,
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped,
- 60 g sugar,
- 3 egg yolks,
- 25 g cornstarch,
- 25 g butter, diced and softened.
- Bring the milk, vanilla seeds and half sugar to boil.
- Whisk the egg yolks, cornstarch and the rest of the sugar together in a separate bowl.
- Whisk the egg mixture into the milk. Cook for about a minute, until it thickens, whisking constantly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter.
- Put it in a small shallow bowl and over the cream directly with a foil.
- 6 clementines, peeled and divided into segments.
- Using a serrated knife cut the pastry into 6 by 9 cm rectangles. Cut each rectangle on the diagonal into a triangle.
- Whisk the pastry cream until it’s smooth, pipe a strip of a pastry cream in the centre of half the triangles. Arrange clementine segments around it. Top with the remaining triangles. Serve immediately.