puff pastry: to do or not to do… (SHF#5)

I was considering joining in on SHF#5. I read several recipes for puffpastry in our cookbooks and on the net and got thoroughly intimidated. So I decided to buy frozen puff pastry. But I wasn’t really thinking it through and got phyllo pastry instead. Moira at Who Wants Seconds set me straight on the difference between the feuilles (thanks, Moira) and mentioned that she had used the puffpastry recipe in Baking With Julia. So I got it out of the library. Lovely book. And with the most wonderful apricot jam recipe that I droned on about earlier this week. And the croissant recipe looks fun too. But that’s not puff pastry either!

And I got to thinking about puff pastry. And (dare I say it??) I don’t really like puff pastry. Phyllo I like. But puff pastry? No. It’s just too… well… crumby. So that’s that. I’m just not going to do it. (Hey!! Maybe I should do something with puff pastry for IMBB#12!)

Now maybe I have never had great puff pastry. But what I’m really looking forward to making is goat cheese and apricot jam purses with that frozen phyllo dough I bought. We’re planning on making them on Sunday to have as dessert with friends who, like me, prefer savoury to sweet things.

8 responses to “puff pastry: to do or not to do… (SHF#5)

  1. Moira

    You are SO funny, and very smart, too. You’re right- why bother if you’re not really interested in puff pastry anyway? I like your idea for the cheese and jam purses- they sound very good.


  2. ejm Post author

    Ah, so I have you fooled, Moira. Thanks for laughing and pretending I’m smart. I saw your entry for SHF#5 (whowantsseconds.typepad.com/who_wants_seconds/2005/02/shf5_vanilla_ic.html). It looks really good. Oh rats. Maybe I’ll have to reconsider about making puff pastry!

    We’re pretty excited about the goatcheese and jam purses. I got the idea from the scallop and pesto phyllo purses in “Baking With Julia” on p435 I’ll post about them when we’ve made them. (I really hope they work out!!)

  3. Moira

    It was good, but you know, I don’t know that I really would have missed the puff pastry if it wasn’t there! The ice cream was awesome, and so was the pomegranate molasses, but I just don’t think puff pastry is that big a deal, either.

    You absolutely MUST post about your purses! The scallop and pesto ones sound fab, too…hmmmm….

  4. ejm Post author

    So the truth comes out. I’m not the only one who thinks that puff pastry is a big hype.

    Scallop and pesto does seem like a good idea too. What to do, what to do? So many dishes and so few nights in which to consume them!

  5. Julie

    Thanks so much for stopping by my site! In all honestly, I liked the puff pastry best when it was shortly out of the oven — it certainly doesn’t hold up by the second day, and I guess I’m just the peasant-y type that likes sturdier stuff. I think your purses sound delish — can’t wait to hear more about them, especially since I’m passionately fond of apricot jam…

  6. ejm Post author

    Julie, if you haven’t already, you’ve got try making your own apricot jam! I couldn’t believe how fantastically it turned out. Very simple too! Here is what I did.

    Apricot Jam
    based on “Apricot Lekvar” in Baking with Julia by Julia Child

    * 1/2 c whole dried apricots
    * water to cover
    * 1 Tbsp demerara sugar (or any brown sugar, probably)
    * 1 generous tsp Cognac
    * more water to taste
    * pinch salt

    Rinse apricots. Put them whole into a small pot and cover with cold water. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes til they are soft and easy to prick through with a fork. Take off the heat. Drain off most of the water but keep it in reserve. Add salt, sugar and cognac. Puree. Put back into pot over low heat. Add more water as needed, stirring with wooden spoon til the jam is the consistency you like. Pour into a clean glass jar.

  7. Zarah Maria (Food and Thoughts)

    I agree, I’m not a big fan of that puff pastry either – and if I have to eat it, I second Julie, it’s got to be almost straight out of the oven. The purses sound fantastic, can’t wait to hear about them either!

  8. ejm Post author

    It’s amazing how many people have confessed about that, Zarah Maria. And yes, I agree. Puff pastry HAS to be eaten straight out of the oven. Otherwise it leaves that horrible gummy sensation at the back of the throat.

    I assembled the purses this morning and will be baking them tonight. I’ll type up the report tomorrow.

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