Mango & Cranberry Puff Pastry Swirls
Fresh fruit is always a good thing to have for breakfast... but sometimes it's nice to be naughty at breakfast too... so sometimes it is nice to do both! Like this morning... sure, there is lovely fresh mango in there- but wrapped up in luscious, flaky, puff pastry it becomes just a little more yummy!
And being as your eyes deserve a treat as much as your taste-buds, a little cranberry jam is a wonderful idea to liven up both the color and the flavor of the tropical yellow mango. Go on- treat yourselves- after all, I did- and I am careful all week about what I eat! Sunday is a day to indulge... and indulgent is a good word to describe these little beauties!
All I am going to say in my defense is that there is no sugar added, other than the jam- hehe! Oh, and the tiniest trickle of honey towards the end... But seriously though, these pastries rely completely on the natural sweetness and flavor of the mango and about 2 tablespoons of cranberry preserves to make 4 of them. That really is not SO sinful, in comparison to many sweet pastries.
So- for 4 pastry "swirls", you will need 4, 3"-wide strips of puff pastry, from the roll, about 3/4 of a non-too ripe mango and 2 tablespoons of cranberry jam- or any other you may prefer, although I like the size of the whole berries in the cranberry, myself.
When it comes to peeling and preparing the mango, although you can just peel it with a knife or a potato peeler, which ends up being a rather slippery affair, you can always do the same trick (see below), that works with avocado's as well.
What you need to do is to cut off a large slice from each side of the stone in the center of the mango, and to then score the flesh with a sharp knife and "turn it inside-out", exposing all of the cuts you have made so that they can be easily chopped off. The remaining part of the mango is easy to peel and dice , by simply cutting around the outer edge of the stone to remove it.
Next, cut the puff pastry into strips that are about 3" wide and sprinkle them evenly with the diced mango. Make sure to dice the mango relatively finely, as you will otherwise have trouble rolling the pastry up later. Also, make sure that the mango is not too rips and juicy... in this case, working with pastry, less juice is the way to go, otherwise it will soak through and make the pastry soggy- and you don't want that to happen!
The same thing applies to the jam- less is more! And I can not stress this fact too much! As you can see, the finished pastries are very, very juicy and if you add too much jam or too juicy fruit from the beginning, hoping to make them more delicious... you will fail! And you will fail terribly! So please- take heed- it also makes them a lot easy to handle and prepare... just saying!
Forming the pastry swirls is easy. First, fold the pastry strips together, in a "U" shape, so that nothing falls out and then wrap the strip into a spiral. Don't worry about the shape- half of the fun is that each spiral looks a little different- just make sure that the outer edges of the pastry are all facing upwards.
Once you have the swirls shaped, you can fill-in any gaps around the top of the pastry with diced mango and also had a few small blobs of jam- just remember- not too much! Otherwise the pastry will end up getting moist, it will not puff-up... and you will not be happy campers!
As usual, I used my favorite little trick of starting these "baking" in my frying pan- my favorite way to ensure the base gets nice and crispy- which is especially important with a juicy filling like this. 5-6 minutes in a hot, non-stick pan should do the trick- basically, until they come loose from the base of the pan all by themselves.
Continue to back in a pre-heated oven, at 350°F, for 15-20 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. By that time, the jam will have heated up and caramelized and also it will encourage the mango juice to do it's thing and come-through, but a last tiny drizzle of honey, just over the mango, will really do the trick!
Rather pretty in their un-fussiness, these are fun little treats to whip-up in next to no time, but sure to delight and easy as pie! Or, to be honest- much, much easier than pie and probably a lot more fun!
Make sure to make a couple more of these than you actually need.. You're going to like them! And of course, you can use any other fruit to make these too... blueberries for example... yum-yum! Now I have gone and even got myself thinking about making more of these too!