Puff Pastry – two ways

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Roasted pear-saffron mascarpone millefeuille

* Note. Colors of pictures are more vivid when clicked on to activate lightbox

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Luscious apple tarts!

One evening after the new year, I had an odd compulsion to make puff pastry. It must have been triggered by this arctic blast that had sent people (me) scuttling indoors and despite the furnace running up my heating bill, my fingers remained ice cold. What better time to make puff pastry, right?
Some flour, some butter – okay, lotsa butter, ice water and icy fingers, you get one of the miracles of pastry. Multi-layered sheets of buttery heaven, how can one resist?
The one disadvantage of making puff pastry is the time commitment needed to produce it. It’s almost unheard of for a home cook to make their own and there are certainly store-bought ones that may be passable, but mastering the art of puff pastry is a worthwhile endeavor, I believe. Then again, there is still the time constraint.
Back in July, Helen showed me how to make rough puff pastry and I was amazed with the results. But you know me, curious to the very end, I wanted to compare them side by side.

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Saffron, pears and pistachios

I also had some Iranian pistachio that I wanted to use in some dessert. If there are two things Iran is known for, it is for the quality of their pistachio and saffron. I did not have the heart to use it for pistachio paste, after all at 25 euros for 1kg, one must use it wisely. I leafed through “Sweet Seasons” by Richard Leach and found his roasted pear and mascarpone filling. I thought if I infused the cream with saffron, I could use that to fill a millefuielle and then sprinkle some ground roasted pistachios on top. It’ll look pretty…let’s hope the filling holds up.
I also wanted to do a repeat of the peach tart on rough puff pastry but this time use apples which was the original recipe anyway.

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A fruit composition :)

Please excuse the abundance of pictures, I thought since it’s already 2010, I should improve my food photography and it takes patience (by not being too tempted by the dessert before good pictures are taken) and lots of practice (playing with different camera settings.)

This recipe for my regular puff pastry comes from by Bo Friberg. We used it in our Daring Baker’s challenge for the Gateau St. Honore and I found this to be one of the best and problem free puff pastry recipe that I have tried.

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Regular puff pastry on its 4th turn

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