Sunday, 2 February 2014

Pearfect Blue

Pasta Sfoglia con Pere & Mirtilli
Blueberry & Pear Pastry

Lots of pictures today- but not so many words... because if you look at these here pictures... apart from perhaps hearing your tummy rumble or feeling your mouth starting to water... I don't think there is that much that needs to be said anyway!

Pears and blueberries- quite plainly and simply- what's not to like about that? Cinnamon and a little honey? Sure thing! All packed in puff pastry, so that it looks intricate and cool- but is in fact the easiest thing on Earth to do? Oh yeah! I hear you my friends- and I know what you are all thinking and saying... "bring it on!"

Sunday mornings are my time of the week to let my rare craving for something sweet get the better of me- they are also the only mornings I have the luxury of having the time to make anything that can be described as a breakfast at all! Otherwise, I am more of a "grab a cup of coffee and run for the office" kinda guy.

But a pastry is always a nice thing to have with that morning sip of coffee- especially with a fresh fruit filling and a yummy cinnamon-spiced and honey flavor... which is why it is always handy to have a roll of puff pastry in the fridge... 

One of the reasons for making this sweet dish was that I bought the pears, which looked lovely... only to find that they were rather laking in flavor- sigh! It happens!  And the best thing to do if you are stuff with fruit that has been picked way before it had a chance to ripen either in the sun, or in a greenhouse, is to cook with it and get the most out of what flavor it has.

Using just a little honey and a nice sprinkle of cinnamon, I managed to do just that. All I needed to do was to peel the pears and then coarsely grate them and squeeze out the excess juice- and there is going to be plenty of it! Even if the pears are not that sweet. The thing is- if you don't, all that juice will seep out when you bake your pastry and it will become very soggy- so get squeezing!

I grated 3 pears and added a couple of handfuls of berries, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of honey. That was all. I could have done something more complicated- but nothing else was necessary, as I knew that a little heat from the oven and the forces of nature would transform these into something mighty yummy for me. I took a little sneaky taste and already, the pear was coming to life after having the honey and cinnamon added. But just to be absolutely certain- I added a little pinch of salt too- always good in any sweet dish...

Next, I cut the pastry into strips that were the width of my little baking dish. In order to get the most out of those strips, I simply cut them in half, so as to get the most even-sized pieces out of one packet of pastry as possible. Not rocket science. And it is absolutely not important how big those squares of pastry are... the only thing that IS important, is that your knife is sharp.

The next step was to lay the pastry squares into the baking dish and to spoon some of the filling into them, then to fold them up again, to add the next square and to carry on until the baking dish was full. Basically, we are creating lots of "u-shaped" sections of pastry and filling them- again, a very, very easy principle.

You may be a little concerned about how much filling to add into each section, as was I, but just add a little into each at first and then keep on re-filling them afterwards, once all of the sections of dough are in the dish- that way, you can distribute the filling more evenly with less stressing ;-)

When the baking dish was full, it looked like this... and it went into a pre-heated oven at 300°F for around 30 minutes... time to do a little washing-up and tidying away... and basically trying to stay calm as the kitchen and indeed the whole apartment began to smell really nice, really soon...

After 30 minutes, I fetched it out to check that the the pear was cooked and the berries were on the verge of bursting and spilling their juices... mmm! Yep! Sure was! I put the pastry back in and turned the heat sitting to higher at the top of the oven, rather than an even fan-heat, in order to get the pastry to crisp up and brown on top... you don't want that to happen too soon, otherwise the base will remain soggy, especially with the grated pear in there... but now was the time for things to start looking prettier ;-)

After patiently waiting for another 10-15 minutes, (it will depend on your oven a little), the pastry will be golden brown, the pear will have slightly crusted-over from the cinnamon and honey on it and the berries will indeed be ready to pop! Juicy and delicious! But hot, hot, hot! It took me quite a bit of self control to wait for it to cool down properly... in fact- I didn't!

So here it is- a perfectly pretty, but simple and yet delicious little fruit pastry creation. It is also pretty easy to serve up if you go in-between the sections of pastry... they will come apart easily enough, even though they all bake together. And you just never know how many of those sections each of you will want to have... I have to admit- I managed 3 of them pretty easily! Haha! And you probably will too!

No comments:

Post a Comment