Sunday, 5 October 2014

Do the Oriental Twist!

Sfogliatini con Limone, Zenzero Candito, Pistacchi & Mandorle
Lemon, Candied Ginger, Pistachio & Almond Puff-Pastries


Ah, those wonderful ethnic pastries! Be they Tunisian, Turkish, or from wherever... they are always so sinfully good- but more often than not, much sweeter than my already sweet, Sicilian tooth can handle!

As usual, proposing that less is more, I set about making these delightful little pastries in a somewhat "lighter" version. The puff-pastry is sinful in itself (but SO yummy always!) and so I tried to limit adding more fat or too much sweetness- and the result looked a little bit like this!


I was inspired to make these after having tried a wonderful, Tunisian pastry on my recent trip to Marseille- and whilst showing friends my holiday snaps yesterday and re-telling my little story... well- a light spark was ignited! And this morning it burst into flame!


The ingredients I chose to use were: 2 tablespoons of ground almonds, 2 tablespoons of ground pistachios, a couple of slices of candied ginger, the zest of 1 lemon and a small handful of cranberries. The only additional sweetness came in the form of just 1 tablespoon of honey at the end- trust me- it is more than enough!


I decided to see if by relying on some simple, but delicious ingredients, I could cut-down on a lot of added sugar, butter or syrup- which is undoubtedly delicious-,but also very, very dangerous to my waistline!

The candied ginger is of course sweet- as are the cranberries- the lemon gives a great contrast and puff pastry is moist and buttery enough in itself... trust me- that is all that you need!


Simply cut the candied ginger and lemon zest into very fine slices.


Chop the cranberries too, as whole cranberries would simply be too large for these little pastries- as yummy as they may be! Remember- it is all about balance when you are cooking!


Blanche the lemon zest by pouring boiling water over it and letting it sit for 3-4 minutes, until all of the bitterness (and whatever else!), comes out of it and can be poured away to leave you with milder, softer zest to work with and to enjoy.


Cut the pastry into equal-sized rectangles... mine were around 5"- 7" and I got a yield of 16 from 1 pack of puff-pastry.


Sprinkle generously with the ground almonds/pistachios and then add a little candied ginger, lemon zest and cranberries to each.


There is no need to be too precise- just follow what you can see in these pictures and they will work out fine- not too little and not too much! Just like everything in life! Haha!


Now, simply roll-up the pastry rectangle on a slight diagonal, so that you end up with pointed ends.


Once you have rolled-up all of your rectangles, roll them in any crumbs you may have scattered around on your baking-paper and press them in gently- this will make the rolls prettier- and crunchier of course too!

Do not roll them too tightly closed and set them onto your baking tray with the end-piece facing upwards... this will then unfold during baking and you will be able to see the filling inside, which is very pretty! If you were not to roll the pastry completely shut- that filling would fall off- the gentle pressure of the rolling keeps it stuck to the pastry.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15 minutes or until golden brown, puffed-up and as irresistible looking as this!

Trickle a little honey over them as soon as they come out of the oven and allow them to cool... if you can! As I already mentioned, I only needed 1 tablespoon of honey to trickle over them all- just go backwards and forwards, letting a delicate thread of honey trickle down onto the hot pastries- it's easy and fun stuff to do!


Once they are nice and cool, the pastries become lovely and flaky and light on the outside, whist the inside is chewy and delicious from the cranberries, almonds, ginger and pistachios- everything you need is right there!


That, for me, is more than enough goodness... what do you all think? With that added trickle of honey goodness- I am sure you will agree!


And the best thing about making these things a little less sinful is... you can eat more of them and sin a little bit more! Just, simply enjoy!

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