This beautiful breakfast pastry uses store-bought puff pastry as a shortcut. I loved the crushed dried blueberries sprinkled over the top.
I served this pastry as part of our Easter brunch along with my favorite brunch dish, Asparagus, Leek and Gruyere Quiche. We also had fruit and green salads, cheeses with crackers and warm bread, hummus with vegetables, nuts, and sliced kielbasa.
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Anna Theoktisto. I modified the method and proportions. The combination of blueberries and lemon was bright and delicious.
The pastry is ideally served warm, but I made it a day in advance, refrigerated it overnight, and served it at room temperature. Still great. It could also be reheated prior to serving.
Yield: Two 5×12-inch Pastries (about 8 to 10 servings)
1 (18.3-ounce) package frozen puff pastry, thawed (I used Trader Joe’s)
all-purpose flour, for dusting
5.2 ounces cream cheese (such as Philadelphia), at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
5 to 6 T blueberry preserves (I used Stonewall Kitchen)
scant 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg
1 T water
2 T whole milk
2 T whole freeze-dried blueberries, crushed
Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon zest and juice with an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed, gradually increasing mixer speed to medium-high, until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Measure 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture into a separate medium bowl; set aside for icing.
Unroll thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface. (I used a pastry mat instead.) Cut pastry in half lengthwise; place 1 pastry half on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with second roll of pastry on second baking sheet.
Divide remaining cream cheese mixture in half. Spoon one ration of the mixture in a 1 1/2-inch-wide strip lengthwise down the middle of each pastry half on the prepared baking sheets, leaving a 1-inch border along short pastry edges.
Stir together preserves and cornstarch in a small bowl. Divide the mixture into fourths.
Spoon each ration of the preserves mixture evenly along the long edges of both cream cheese strips (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per side), leaving a 1-inch border on each long side.
Beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Brush border of topped pastry lightly with egg mixture; reserve remaining egg mixture.
Place remaining pastry half on top of filled pastry, pressing edges firmly to seal.
Chill until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Brush chilled pastry lightly with reserved egg mixture. Using a paring knife, cut 5 small (about 1-inch) slits on top of pastry.
Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and evenly puffed, 40 minutes on convection or up to 45 minutes in a standard oven, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time.
Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let pastry cool 10 minutes.
Place freeze-dried blueberries in a zip-top bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Whisk milk into reserved 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture until smooth.
Drizzle icing over warm pastries, and sprinkle with crushed freeze-dried blueberries. Serve warm. (see Note)
Note: I waited for the pastries to cool to room temperature prior to drizzling with the icing. Once garnished, I wrapped them in plastic wrap and refrigerated them overnight. Pastry can be reheated or served at room temperature. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.
I already have a couple easy fall apple desserts that I make every year- French apple cake and apple pie bars. I had to add this one onto the list this year. I love fruit desserts! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten, via epicurious.com. I used the puff pastry shortcut, reduced the amount of jam in the glaze, and modified the baking method.
The apple juices, sugar, and butter collect on the edges of the tart (and become quite dark!) but can be trimmed prior to serving. We ate it with vanilla ice cream which was completely unnecessary but delicious.
For the Pastry:
(Alternatively, use one sheet of store-bought puff pastry- I used Trader Joe’s)
1/4 to 1/3 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water
For the Puff Pastry Crust:
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for 2 hours at room temperature.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; remove from the pan.
On the parchment, roll the thawed crust into a 10×14-inch rectangle. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges.
Place dough (on parchment) on the rimmed baking sheet and keep in the refrigerator to chill while the apples are prepared.
To Make the Pastry Crust:
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine.
Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas.
With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.
Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Roll the dough slightly larger than 10×14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. (I would roll it out on the parchment paper.)
Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while the apples are prepared.
To Prepare the Apples and Finish the Tart:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baller.
Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch-thick slices. (I used a mandoline.)
Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (I tend not to use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement beautiful.)
Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup sugar and dot with the butter.
Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and continue to bake 15 to 30 minutes more, until the pastry is browned, the edges of the apples start to brown, and the apples are tender. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. *Don’t worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine!
When the tart’s done, heat the apricot jelly together with the water or Calvados and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. (I used apricot jam and used a whisk to break up large chunks. It could also be strained.)
Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn’t stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
Lucky me- I recently received several beautiful homegrown tomatoes from friends. 🙂 This quick and easy tart was a great way to showcase them.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I modified the method and proportions and added parmesan in lieu of creme fraiche. The punch of lemon surprised my son but I thought that it added bright and fresh flavor.
We ate this tart for dinner with a green salad. It would also be lovely served as an appetizer. A dollop of ricotta cheese may also be nice, so I included it as an option for next time.
Yield: 4 servings
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-ounce package or half of a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
all-purpose flour, for dusting
2 garlic clove, finely grated
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch rounds on a mandoline, seeds removed (5-6 slices)
One of my friends frequently serves these tarts when entertaining with rave reviews. She describes them as “flavor bombs!” 🙂 I loved them so much, I have also served them on more than one occasion myself.
The tarts can be formed into rectangles on sheet pans, or into rounds on pizza tins. Square pieces are perfect appetizer portions. As they are a bit time consuming to prepare, the tarts can be assembled a day prior to baking and serving. To limit the amount of moisture on the crust, it is important to not to incorporate too many tomatoes.
The recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, via Food Network.com, contributed by Ina Garten. I doubled the recipe, modified the proportions, and made large tarts rather than individual tarts.
8 cups thinly sliced yellow onions (about 3 large onions)
6 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons dry white wine
4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
6 to 8 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese (I used Trader Joe’s herb-goat cheese)
1 pound Campari or small “on-the-vine” tomatoes (about 3 per tart), or 2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
6 tablespoons julienned basil leaves, divided
Unfold a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it lightly to an 12 by 12-inch square. Fold the corners in to form a circle. Repeat with the second pastry sheet. (Alternatively, the pastry can be kept in a rectangle, lightly rolled until smooth.)
Place the pastry circles on 2 pizza pans lined with parchment paper and refrigerate until ready to use. (If using rectangles, place the pastry on 2 rimmed sheet pans lined with parchment paper.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, preferably on convection.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium to low heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are limp and there is almost no moisture remaining in the skillet.
Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the wine, and thyme and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Remove from the heat.
Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry.
Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan on each round, staying inside the scored border.
Place 1/2 of the onion mixture on each tart, again staying within the scored edge.
On each tart, crumble 3 to 4 ounces of goat cheese on top of the onions.
Place tomato slices over each tart. Brush the tomatoes lightly with olive oil and sprinkle each with 2 T basil, salt, and pepper.
Finally, scatter 4 or 5 shards of Parmesan on each tart.
Bake for 25 minutes on convection, or until the pastry is golden brown. The bottom pan may need an extra few minutes in the oven.
After removing from the oven, garnish each tart with the remaining tablespoon of basil and more grated Parmesan.
Chicken Pot Pie is one of my ultimate favorite comfort food dishes. This version was fabulous! The use of rotisserie chicken meat in the filling and puff pastry as the crust were wonderful (and delicious) shortcuts.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. I modified the proportions and used rainbow carrots instead of turnips in the filling to add a little color. GREAT.
Yield: Serves 8
5 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken meat
2 large yellow onions
1 lb rainbow carrots or turnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves
1 T thyme leaves
3 T unsalted butter
2½ tsp Kosher salt, divided
1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 T all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream, divided
10 oz bag frozen peas
1 sheet of puff pastry (1/2 box/8.6 oz), thawed overnight
Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Remove and discard skin from a rotisserie chicken. Using your hands, shred the meat into 1″ pieces until you have 5 cups; set aside. Reserve any leftover meat for another use.
Cut the onions in half through root, trim root ends, then peel. Finely chop onion and transfer to a medium bowl.
Peel the carrots (or turnips), then trim off the ends. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to another medium bowl.
Lightly smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Peel, then coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl with the carrots/turnips.
Add thyme leaves to bowl with carrots/turnips and garlic.
Melt butter in a 12″ oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned, 5–6 minutes.
Add carrot/turnip mixture, season with 1 tsp salt and 1½ tsp pepper, and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, 3 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until flour begins to stick to bottom of pan, about 30 seconds. The flour is going to help thicken the gravy you’re trying to create.
Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, to burn off some of the alcohol, about 1 minute.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Add remaining cream, reserved chicken, peas, and 1½ tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cook, tossing occasionally, until warmed through, 3–4 minutes.
Transfer skillet to a rimmed baking sheet, which will prevent any juices that bubble out of the pan from spilling onto your oven floor.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 13″ square (large enough to cover skillet with a bit of overhang). Roll pastry up onto rolling pin. (You could use an empty wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin.) Unfurl pastry from rolling pin, draping it over skillet.
Trim pastry so that there is a 1″ border all around. Fold edge of puff pastry under itself. Crimp edges with a fork (just like you would do when making the top crust of a pie).
Using a pastry brush, brush top of pastry with reserved cream. Cut 5–6 small slits in the center so steam can escape.
Bake pot pie until crust is light golden brown, 22 to 24 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°, preferably on convection, and continue to bake until filling is bubbling around the edges and crust is well browned, 22 to 35 minutes longer.
I’ve wanted to try these churros since first seeing the recipe around Cinco de Mayo 2016. Truth be told, they are not actually “true” churros… 😉 Yet, they are certainly a festive end to any Mexican-inspired menu. Perfect for our Super Bowl feast too.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I cut the recipe in half and froze the prepared churros one day ahead prior to baking. We ate them dipped in warm dulce de leche- melted chocolate would also be delicious.
Yield: about 20 Churros
8 ounces (1/2 box) all-butter puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
warm dulce de leche or melted chocolate, for serving, as desired
Preheat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle.
Brush lightly with a beaten egg.
Fold in half into a 6-by-16-inch rectangle; press out air bubbles, then cut crosswise into 1/2-by-6-inch strips.
Twist into spirals, pressing ends to gently adhere.
Place 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; freeze 30 minutes. (Can be made and frozen up to 1 day ahead.)
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until puffed and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Combine sugar and cinnamon. While still hot, toss half of churros with half of sugar. Repeat with remaining churros and sugar.
Serve immediately with warm dulce de leche or melted chocolate, as desired.
I have a new favorite appetizer!! Perfect for any holiday or game day. It is quick to prepare and absolutely delicious- pretty too! This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Laura Chenel.
I made it to serve at our second annual Christmas concert where my kids and their friends perform for my friends, my husband, and me (aka their parents and grandparents!). This year we had many pianists, two cellists and a French horn player. The kids all did a great job, of course. It is quite a festive event! It was so warm this year we were able to have a glass of wine by the fire outside afterwards- so lovely!