Sunday, September 27, 2009

Homemade Puff Pastry

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Making puff pastry is child’s play. Well, at our house anyway. Getting a two year old to roll out your dough doesn’t make for perfect layers and even edges.
But, showing a kid how butter and flour become puffy deliciousness does make you seem like a magician.

I wish I believed in magic. There is a point in many people’s lives where cynicism, disbelief and routine over take that innate ability to be in awe.

Wonder, the prerequisite to believing in magic, is the purview of youth. Right now, at our house, water is a hot topic. Where does rain come from? Why is water wet? Where does rain go when a puddle disappears? Why does it become ice? How does it become ice? Why is steam hot? Why is rain cold? How can you capture steam?

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Puff pastry is like a snapshot of steam. The water in the butter becomes an escape artist and leaving a pocket of air. If you are a strict disciplinarian and keep the butter in line, those pockets are parallel. If you are like my daughter, and roll it out a little scattershot, your layers are a little skewed but delicious nonetheless.

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Our pastry became a three cheese (Brie, fresh mozza and parm) tart topped with a vinegary raw vegetable salad, coulibiac de saumon with leeks, mushrooms and quails eggs (post upcoming) and owl palmiers.

And now to pay the piper--The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

vegetable tart in puff pastry

vegetable tart in puff pastry

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50 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

BREATHTAKING!!

Sara said...

OMG, so cute!!! :) I love that fish...so much detail! The owls are adorable too. :)

chakhlere said...

OMG!! That's so gorgeous. I loved the fish very much.

Lauren said...

So cute! Beautiful post, and all of your pastries look delicious =D.

Joan Nova said...

such poetry and creativity from puff pastry...I'm inspired to get out my rolling pin.

Amy I. said...

WOW. I am so impressed by your creativity, and love how you brought your daughter into the process. Beautiful, beautiful work!!

Pam said...

I love this post! Though, I would never ever dream of making my own puff pastry!

Helene said...

What a challenge. So cute the one in the form of a fish.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh, your daughter shows great talent and promise! beautiful puff creations you have--i'm especially taken with the little owls! thanks to you and your little girl for baking with me this month!

Asha @ FSK said...

Love the pinwheels :) they looks so whimsical.. :))

Johanna said...

beautiful fish and owls - I imagine they delighted maybelle

her questions are so lovely - and your explanation of the water in the puff is very helpful - as well as your bravery in making puff pastry with your little daughter - I find it too daunting just by myself but I guess with a kid rolling becomes fun!

glamah16 said...

Oh my! I cant tell which I love more. The Palmiers are so cute. But that Salmon is calling my name.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What beautiful creations! Everything looks perfect and delicious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Elle said...

I had trouble doing the challenge myself, but with a two year old helping...you are amazing! The results are so beautiful, too...especially those cute owls!

Namratha said...

WOW! That's some gorgeously done puff pastry..loved them!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Wow - love the fish and the owls. I am so amazed! So creative!

Chou said...

Magic, indeed. May cynacism never cloud your daughter's eyes, and may sunshine light her path. As always, I appreciate you sharing the beauty in your life. To puff pastry owls and land-locked fishes!

lisaiscooking said...

Beautiful uses of your puff pastry! Your daughter's going to an excellent baker some day.

Dharm said...

Lovely! Love the pictures and I love that you got your little one involved in this. Great job on this challenge!!!

high over happy said...

I'm not part of the DB group, but have been see-ing the pics and yours look like the most fun! Very creative.

Ahmad said...

Wow your pastry sculpture skill is great! You should hone that skill; i've seen some bread creations that would blow your mind!!

The infinite amounts of beautiful variations in pastry we can make from just butter, flour and water is magic in my eyes.

Well done :)

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

OH MM this is just too gorgeous...& I'm in love with the owls! PRECIOUS little bites. I love each of the different ways you went with the challenge. Excellent!!

Bombay-Bruxelles said...

Absolutely wonderful! You're so creative!

Sara said...

Wonderful! I am taking a baking class and we are doing puff pastry in a few weeks. I hope that I can learn to make something like that! (Not that I don't consume enough butter already...). And you have a little one so I guess I have no excuse.

Heidi Robb said...

Love the owlets! Beautiful post.

Congratulations on a win from Ruhlmans BLT challenge for your interpretive pie!

~~louise~~ said...

Wonderful post MM. I'm hoping to do some baking with my grandkids when they visit in November. I'm thinking they could probably teach me a thing or two:) I'm saving this post for inspiration. Delectably charming...thanks for sharing...

Núria said...

Ah, yes! We should all keep the kid in us :D

A wonderful spread of pictures dear! Viva Puff Pastry!!!

Soma said...

you made beautiful things with the puff! Love the detail in the fish & the fish itself:-D

5 Star Foodie said...

Such gorgeous puff pastry creations! The tart looks so delicious and I just love the fish & the cute owls! My daughter really loves puff pastry and I think she'll really enjoy making it from scratch, I'm going to give it a try sometime soon!

MeetaK said...

you are a star! these creations look grand - well done on this!

girlichef said...

Gorgeous. Beautiful. Amazing. Fabulous. And so many more words. Puff Pastry is quite the undertaking and all of your photos are absolutely delicious. :)

Foodycat said...

Your palmiers look lovely! What a fantastic range of treats.

Grace said...

well. the colors in the tart are astoundingly beautiful, but my favorite aspect of your work here is the owls--brilliant and nicely done! i love that the little one helped out too. :)

farida said...

Beautiful work! I love those cute little owl faces:)) I had to skip this challenge. Sigh:(

Anita said...

What gorgeous presentation and fillings - well done!

Madam Chow said...

Oh my gosh! Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Not just the pastry, but those sweet little hands, too.

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

OHH those cute owllls! I think I know what I'm doing with my leftover puff pastry... :) Lovely!!

Peter M said...

I bow to you in respect. It's so easy to just go and buy ready0made puff pastry but NO...you had to do it at home (with amazing results).

Shri said...

Mind blowing...Loved each and every pic and the dishes

Aparna said...

I guess this is what happens when you make puff pastry with your little one.
You discover the magic and creativity in yourself. I think these are the best I've seen so far. So love those owls. :)

FoodJunkie said...

I can't wait to have little fingers messing around with the dough! I loved it when I was a kid and I think that being in the kitchen with mom it is the best culinary education a kid can have. I will definitely give puff pastry a go. There are so many things one can do with it, not a single piece will go to waste.

Temperance said...

I love the fish and the little owls are great!

Temperance said...

I always loved helping my mother cook as a kid, we started out fetching ingrediants like eggs and milk and measureing things then we got to actualy use the mixer to mix, it was very very exciting as a child. It even helped me with my math in school, I knew all about fractions and how to add, subtract, multiply and devide before anyone else.

Kimberly Johnson said...

All of your puff pastry creations look stunning! I love the owls - now I know what to do with my scraps!

Linda@eatshow&tell said...

This is fantastic! You get a medal for the most creative, you've actually used the puff pastry to make basically everything. Oh and your photos are absolutely stunning as usual. Can't wait to see what you come up with the next challenge.

_ts of [eatingclub] vancouver said...

Your puff pastry creations are beautiful! (OK, 2 beautiful and 1 adorable. ) =)

Lisa said...

I actually scrolled back in the DK completed challenge forum to find that gorgeous veggie tart because I thought it was absolutely stunning and mouth watering when I first saw it weeks ago. I'm in lust and dying to make it! You are a master of puff pastry, and that fish is phenomenal! Beautifully done all around!!

Y said...

Stunning! Love the veggie tart and the owls, but I think my heart belongs to that fish!

Lori said...

I love the fish and owls. Oh heck, I love it all. Beautiful!

Julia @ Mélanger said...

Just fantastic. Amazing.