I know I only said recently that should I ever try and make puff pastry that you should take this as sign to call the mental health authorities and in my defence Your Honour, I truly meant it. You see I had seen Delia make puff pastry on her show and it didn't look great. Can I even say that? Will I be banned from visiting all Commonwealth countries for saying that? But to plead my side of the case, I had success with a filo pastry which I thought I'd never see occur and the natural progression is then Puff Pastry which readers and friends assured me would be ok.
The other reason why I made the puff pastry is because I didn't want to buy any Puff Pastry as I wanted to clear out the freezer because we are moving house! Yes that's the big news for us and if I've been curiously silent or busy on twitter or facebook recently (I just started this facebook page yesterday-come join us!), it's because we've been busy buying our first apartment. We're renovating our bathroom and kitchen which will be exciting but not without trepidation. For those that are familiar with Sydney, we'll be moving from the Lower North Shore back to the Eastern Suburbs where I grew up and we're both very excited about the move. So hopefully I'll be able to clear out my cupboards and fridge/freezer without blogging about bizarre dishes like "What's left in the freezer prawn head and quince paste soup" (yes I keep prawn shells to make seafood soup stock).
For the puff pastry, I used a recipe I found on the lovely blog Kitchen Unplugged which was a quick puff pastry although it still took a few hours. I rolled and rolled and rolled and even though mine didn't look anywhere as neat as hers, when I baked it it became a golden, buttery wonder. There were so many layers I was stunned. Did I just make that? Really? I felt as proud as a new mother whose baby has just spoken a full sentence. If you do get the urge, and of course I don't expect many of you to as it takes a long time, do try and make this puff pastry using your best butter. The supermarkets puff pastries are not usually made from butter (and if they are they'll definitely be branded so and more expensive) and the amount of layers I got from this was simply astounding. The crunch, the butteriness and the delicious apple put rest to any apprehensions I had about it. Who knows, I might even be persuaded to make it again!
Dear Readers, if anyone has any advice on bathroom or kitchen renovations or any recommendations, please let me know! :)
Oh and before I forget, Every Wednesday I'll put up a new Wallpaper picture. We all know Wednesday is possibly even a worse day than Monday as you are neither fresh and relaxed from the weekend like on a Monday nor are you tired but looking forward to the weekend like you are on a Friday. There's a reason why they call it Hump Day. So in the spirit of trying to get over the hump, instead of changing your job, you can change your Wallpaper! Sure it won't give you a six figure salary boost or a job travelling the world but every little bit counts right? ;) Welcome to the first Wallpaper of Wallpaper Wednesdays!
For instructions on how to install Wallpapers or to see past Wallpapers, click here!
Apple Tarte Tatins with Home Made Puff Pastry
- 1/2 batch of puff pastry rolled out (see below) or 2 sheets ready made puff
- 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored and sliced into 6 slices each
- 50g butter
- 50ml honey or your favourite syrup (I used a Serendipity Orange Blossom & Vanilla Syrup)
- 12 hole muffin tray (the base of the holes should be roughly the size of your apple's circumference) buttered
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Cut out 12 rounds of pastry with pastry cutter that fits the muffin holes. Place pastry rounds in the fridge.
Step 2 - In a large saucepan melt the butter and syrup and cook on medium until thickened and combined. Add the apples and cook for about 5 minutes.
Step 3 - Carefully place one piece of apple in each muffin hole. Cook syrup until it gets darker and distribute syrup in the pan over each one. Then place the pastry on top and gently push down on top of the apple (not too hard). Bake for 15 minutes.
Puff my little pretties!
Step 4 - When done, rest for 2 minutes and then flip them out of their holes gently! Don't let them rest too long or they'll stick to the pan a bit too steadfastly.
Adapted from Donna Hay
Home made butter puff pastry
- 7 Tbps (100g) unsalted butter, melted, cool to room temperature
- 4 cups (500g) plain flour
- 2 1/2 tsps salt
- about 1 cup (220g) water
- 1 1/4 cups+ 1 1/2 Tbps (300g) best unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, frozen
Step 1 - Combine melted butter, flour, salt and water until a dough is formed. Add in frozen butter cubes, make sure they're evenly distributed throughout the dough as much as you can. Shape dough into a rough 8" x 10" x 1" (thick) rectangle, wrap it in plastic and rest in fridge at least 1 hour, max. 12 hours.
Step 2 - Lightly flour the work table, roll dough to 10" x 23" rectangle, fold the short sides to the middle (the book fold) and then fold one half over the other half. Rest for 1 hour. During rolling, don't add to much flour as that toughens the pastry. Whenever you feel the dough sticky, chill in fridge and let it get harden again. And anytime the dough refuses to spread out, also, rest it in fridge for 15 minutes or so; the gluten in dough will be relax again.
Step 3 - Repeat this folding process 2-3 more times. Rest overnight or for an hour before using.
Puff pastry recipe from Kitchen Unplugged