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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fun with Puff Pastry

I have decided, this week, to experiment with frozen puff pastry, as I don’t have much experience with the stuff and it always looked so neat.  Making it from scratch is WAY complicated and takes forever and frankly, I don’t have the patience or time for all that folding, so I fake it. But if you want to try it, here's a link to another wonderful blog that gives detailed instructions on how to DIY.  I’m all about time saving and money saving so, why not?

A box of the stuff will run you about 3.50$ and you will get 2 sheets that are approximately 9”X12” or so.
For this epic fun, I used two boxes of pastry, 4 sheets. 


This is by far the easiest and, I daresay, the most impressive of the puff pastry fun.  If you are having company, these will make them think you spent HOURS in the kitchen makin them.

You need:
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 can of pie filling (cherry, apple, blueberry, whatever) (and yes I know ‘cheater! cheater!’ you can make the pie filling from scratch but the point of this is to save time and money, silly)
1 egg

Thaw the pastry according to the package directions until it is pliable.  Cut into 4 equal pieces. Place a HEAPING tablespoon on the center of each square.  Fold over on the diagonal, use a little bit of water and a finger to seal the edges. Cut a vent or two in the top to let steam out.  Flute edges with a fork, like I showed you with pie crust.  Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar. Bake!!! Makes 8
That’s IT!  And let me tell you, they are both impressive AND delicious.

(photo courtesy Shutterstock)

Spinach Appetizers

1 sheet puff pastry
1 package frozen creamed spinach
A few small button mushrooms, chopped finely (or about half a small can of mushrooms)
1 clove minced garlic
2 artichoke hearts, chopped
Shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or, really any cheese
 A mini-muffin pan

Again, thaw puff pastry according to package directions, cut into 12 equal pieces.  Cook creamed spinach also according to package directions, let it cool so that it is just warm, not scorching. (if you start the spinach when you take the pastry from the freezer, they should both be ready at the same time. Add garlic, mushroom, and artichoke to spinach and mix well. Press thawed squares of dough carefully into mini muffin holes. No need to grease pan, puff pastry contains lots of butter.  Place (carefully) a teaspoon or so of filling in each little pastry-lined cup.  Top with a pinch of shredded cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 until the pastry is browned and the cheese is golden. Perfect little appetizers for fancy-pants people or just friends coming over to chat and chill.  Makes 12

Little Baked Crabbies

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (duh)
1 block of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup green onions, chopped finely (about 2 onions)
1 small can of crab meat (I think they are 3 oz. but not sure)

Cut puff pastry into 8 equal squares.  Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix well.  Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each square.  Pinch corners together, forming a little bundle. Like this: ~~~>  
 Seal with water.  Bake at 375 for about 70 minutes on parchment-lined baking sheet or baking stone.  Makes 8

Note*** This filling mix is also what I use for crab Rangoon. Just do the same thing with wonton wrappers instead of puff pastry, and drop them in hot oil for about 30 seconds. Voila!!

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