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Publication: I'm Not Martha
Baking with puff pastry.

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         I'M NOT MARTHA - Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hi! I'm Lizzy!!  and I'm not Martha!!!

One of my very most favorite culinary tricks is puff pastry 
or known as Pate feuilletee, in France.  Puff pastry is so 
versatile that is can be a canape, an appetizer, main course 
and dessert..of course.  When you see or better yet taste 
Napoleons, palmiers, croissants, allumettes, turnovers, en 
croute dishes, pithiviers, tartes tatain, beef Wellington, 
bouchees, and vol-au-vents what you are getting is puff 

Now you CAN make it from scratch...if that's where your head 
is at go give Martha a call.  For me, store bought in the 
freezer section is just fine.  Pepperidge Farm is good and 
fairly inexpensive.  For those who have access to DuFour 
brand, it is the gold standard and can be rolled thinner for 
some recipes.  The Pepperidge Farm is best left as is from 
the box.

Here are some tips for your very best success and then on to 
some great recipes.

• When working with puff pastry, keeping it cold is crucial. 
You don't want the butter to melt prematurely. Work quickly 
with one piece at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic 
wrap in the refrigerator. Your tools and working area should 
also be kept cold.

• Puff pastry relies upon heat for lift. Preheat your oven to 
the desired temperature at least 15 to 20 minutes before you 
plan on using it.

• Use a very sharp hot knife or pastry/pizza wheel to cut puff  
pastry, and be sure to cut straight down and not at an angle. 
Using a dull implement will fuse the layers together and thwart 

• After you cut puff pastry, the side that was up when you cut  
should be down on the baking pan.

• An egg wash glaze can be used, but be certain it does not 
drip down on any of the cut sides. The egg wash can fuse the 
edges together, interfering with the rise.

• Plan ahead with frozen puff pastry. Let it thaw in the re-

• Never use a folded edge of puff pastry. All edges should be 
cut or it will not rise.

• If you want to reduce the rise of puff pastry, prick it all 
over with a fork to allow steam to escape.

• Puff pastry may be baked first and then filled or filled and 
then baked.

• All fillings should be at room temperature to avoid premature  
melting of the puff pastry buttery layers.

P.S. If you're interested we now have a forum. You can post 
comments on this and recent issues at... Not Martha forum

This is one of my very most favorite canapes!  Without a doubt 
a crowd pleaser.  Always make more than you think you will need.   
People wolf them down.

Bon Appetit | March 2003

The perfect appetizer with Champagne.
Makes about 30.

1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup (packed) finely grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1 egg, beaten to blend

Place pastry sheet on work surface. Cut in half, forming two 9 1/2x4  
3/4-inch rectangles. Arrange half of prosciutto on 1 rectangle,  
leaving 1/2-inch border along 1 side. Sprinkle prosciutto with half  
of basil, then top with half of cheese. Brush plain border with egg  
glaze. Starting at long side opposite border, roll up pastry jelly- 
roll style, pressing gently to seal long edges. Wrap in plastic.  
Repeat with remaining pastry, prosciutto, basil, cheese, and egg to  
form second log. Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 2  
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 F. Line 2 large  
baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut logs crosswise into 1/2-inch- 
thick rounds. Arrange rounds on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch  
apart. Bake 1 sheet at a time until pastries are golden brown, about  
16 minutes. Using metal spatula, transfer pastries to racks and cool  
slightly. Serve warm.

This one makes a terrific first course (one per person) or a lovely  
light dinner.

Gourmet | February 1998

Serves 4 first course or 2 main course.

6 ounces Brie, chilled
1 large egg
a thawed 17 1/4-ounce package frozen puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)

For dressing:
3 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon chutney (preferably tomato, if you can find it)
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 vine-ripened tomatoes
4 cups mesclun (mixed baby greens; about 4 ounces)

Discard rind from Brie and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Freeze Brie cubes,  
covered, until hard, at least 1 hour, and up to 3 days.

In a bowl lightly beat egg. With a 3 1/2-inch round cutter cut out 4  
rounds from 1 pastry sheet and fit rounds into four 1/2-cup muffin  
cups. Fill cups with frozen Brie cubes. With a 2 1/2-inch round  
cutter cut out 4 rounds from remaining pastry sheet. Brush 1 side of  
each round with egg and put 1 round, egg side down, onto each filled  
cup. With a sharp small knife make steam vents in pastry tops. Chill  
pastries 30 minutes.

Make dressing while pastries are chilling:
In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, and chutney and 
add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified. Season dressing 
with salt and pepper. Dressing may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, 

Quarter tomatoes and cut out seed sections. Cut quarters into thin  
Preheat oven to 425 F.

Bake pastries in middle of oven until deep golden, about 25 minutes.  
Cool Brie en croute in cups on a rack 5 minutes and lift from cups,  
keeping upright. Whisk dressing to combine and in a bowl toss  
together mesclun, tomatoes, enough dressing to coat, and salt and  
pepper to taste. Serve Brie en croûte warm with salad.

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Bon Appetit | November 2006

Classic taste, new look. The borders puff up beautifully to keep 
the filling in place.
Makes 8 servings.

2 sheets frozen puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), thawed
1 cup diced ham
2 cups coarsely grated Swiss cheese
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 F. Unfold 1 pastry sheet on each of 2 baking 
sheets. Top each with half of the ham, cheese, and mushrooms, leaving  
1/2-inch plain border. Whisk eggs, rosemary, pepper, salt, and nutmeg  
in bowl. Whisk in sour cream. Spoon egg mixture over toppings on each  
pastry. Bake until pastries are puffed and golden and toppings are  
set, about 25 minutes.

And now for dessert...yum!

Gourmet | March 1992

Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
Serves 2.

1 sheet (1/2 pound) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 navel orange
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur
vanilla ice cream

On a lightly floured surface roll out the puff pastry 1/8 inch thick  
and cut out as many 6-inch squares as desired, reserving any  
remaining dough, covered and chilled, for another use. (Extra  
squares, baked, keep in an airtight container at room temperature for  
several days). Transfer the squares to an ungreased baking sheet,  
bake them in the upper third of a preheated 425 F. oven for 12 to 15  
minutes, or until they are crisp and golden, and let them cool on a  

While the pastry is baking, remove the zest from half of the orange  
with a vegetable peeler and chop it. With a serrated knife cut away  
the remaining zest and the pith from the orange, discarding them, and  
cut the sections free from the membranes, discarding the membranes.  
In a heavy skillet cook the sugar over moderate heat, undisturbed,  
until it begins to melt and continue cooking the sugar, swirling the  
skillet, until it is a golden caramel. Remove the skillet from the  
heat and add the water carefully with the chopped zest. Simmer the  
sugar mixture, stirring, until the caramel is dissolved, add the  
Grand Marnier, and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4  
cup. Strain the sauce into a bowl and let it cool until it is warm.

Put a pastry square on each of 2-dessert plates, top each 
pastry with a scoop of the ice cream and some of the orange 
sections, and drizzle each serving with some of the sauce.


Gourmet | October 2001

Makes 4 servings

2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and halved
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 1/4-oz package), thawed

Cut apple halves crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices and 
transfer to a bowl.

Bring water, sugar, lemon juice, and butter to a boil in a 
small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then pour 
over apples. Turn apples until slightly wilted, then drain 
in a colander set over a bowl, reserving liquid.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Roll out pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface into a 
121/2-inch square and cut out 4 (6-inch) rounds. Transfer 
rounds to a lightly buttered baking sheet and top with over-
lapping apple slices. Bake in middle of oven until golden 
brown, about 25 minutes.

Boil reserved liquid in saucepan until reduced to about 1/3 
cup, then brush on baked tarts.

I made the Brie En Croute for dinner last night.  A real hit! 
I couldn't find tomato chutney so I used a peach and lime that 
was on the shelf.  Fabulous!


Questions...Comments...? email Lizzy


To see more issues like this visit: Not Martha Archives
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