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Monday, April 5, 2010

Gotta Love Puff Pastry!

Having made thousands of breakfasts at the inn, one of my favorite things to 'play' with in the kitchen is Puff Pastry. We of course buy it in large flat sheets but you can buy it in the freezer section of your grocery store (Pepperidge Farm has the market cornered!) .

What I love about puff pastry is you can use it in so many different ways. For a savory or sweet dish there are dozens of uses. Here are a couple of my favorites that have been big winners at the Inn.

Strudel....one of our former chefs and I had so much fun coming up with new 'strudel' ideas using Puff Pastry that we joked we should rename the restaurant "Strudels"!

My favorite recipe is an apple strudel. Sometimes I'd make Apple/Pear Strudel or Apple/Cranberry---either one is delicious and easy to make. In fact, you can make it the evening before and wrap it carefully in plastic wrap and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, pop it in the oven for a aromatic wake up call for your family.

Apple/Pear/Dried Cranberry Strudel
(quantities are estimates)

Peel, core and dice about 6 apples or pears
Saute lightly with about 4 TBSP Butter or Margarine
Add in 1/4 C Brown Sugar
Add in 1 -2 tsp Cinnamon
Cook until apples (or pears are soft)
Add in Dried Cranberries (soak for a few minutes in orange juice to plump)

Roll out a sheet of puff pastry with a little flour so it doesn't stick to counter top
(tip: as soon as it's rolled to correct size- place on parchment sheet on large cookie sheet)
Spread with 1-2 TBSP of softened Butter or Margarine
Place 1/2 of the apple mixture in the center third of the puff pastry
Fold one third of the puff pastry over the apple mix
Place the balance of apple mix on the top layer of puff and cover with remaining third of puff
Crimp edges with a fork
Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Beat one egg with 1 tsp water
Brush top of puff pastry Strudel with egg Mixture
Sprinkle granulated sugar over top
Bake at 350 degrees for approx. 20 minutes, till Puff is lightly browned
Let cool for 5-10 minutes and then slice into 2" pieces, dust with powdered sugar


Ok. This isn't rocket science but we've been serving this dish at the inn as a breakfast entree for years and years...and it's always a hit...yet very simple and elegant.

Colby Eggs

Take a sheet of puff pastry (do not use a rolling pin on it) and unroll it till flat
Cut the sheet into equal squares (or if you prefer 'rounds') of approx 3 " or 3"
(Pepperidge Farms also makes pre formed round Puff Pastry Shells)
Place each on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Bake for approx 8-10 minutes (watch your oven may be hotter than ours!) until puffed up and lightly browned.
Set aside to cool

Scramble Eggs (approx 2-3 per person) in a buttered pan
When eggs are at soft stage add in 1 or 2 TBSP of Boursin Cheese and mix to finish cooking
Mixture will be soft due to cheese

Take One square of Puff Pastry and Separate in 1/2
Spoon the Egg Mixture over one half of the Puff spilling a bit over the sides
Top with the other half of the Puff
Garnish with chopped chives or minced Parsley

Delicious!


Colby Hill Inn