I like to keep a couple of puff pastries at home; every week I’m sure I’m going to end using them. With ham and cheese, for quiches or to make some empanadas… no matter how, because they are very versatile.
Last weekend I used them to make two easy fixes for a “merienda” (afternoon tea) with some friends. The first one is an apple puff pastry. So easy, you won’t believe it.
Apple puff pastry
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Crushed almonds
- 1 apple
- Ground cinnamon
Cut the pastry into circles with the help of a glass or cookie cutter.
Remove core and cut the apple into slices. Place one slice on top of each circle of pastry. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and toss a handful of almonds in the middle. Add another bit of sugar (for the almonds). Bake for 15 minutes at 180 º C (350 º F)
Alternatives: you can use brown sugar instead of white sugar or you could caramelize the almonds with brown sugar in a saucepan over the fire and added at the end before serving.
The second quick fix was these beautiful palmiers. The recipe is from Inna Garten’s Barefoot Contessa. They are delicious and, yes, so so easy to make.
I halved the recipe (I needed the other sheet of puff pastry for the apple), but I’ll give you the original recipe.
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (I used Maldon sea salt)
- 2 sheets puff pastry
Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230 ºC).
Combine the sugar and kosher salt. Pour 1 cup of the sugar-salt mixture on a flat surface. Unfold the first sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar and pour 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. This is not about sprinkling; it’s about an even covering of sugar. With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom. Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle. Fold them again so the two folds meet exactly at the middle of the dough. Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book. You will have 6 layers. Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices and place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place the second sheet of pastry on the sugared board, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar mixture, and continue as above. (There will be quite a bit of sugar left over on the board.) Slice and arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment.
Bake the cookies for 6 minutes or until caramelized and brown on the bottom, then turn with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side. You need to keep a close eye on the oven, because they tend to burn, and one minute or two can make the difference.
Transfer to a baking rack to cool.
I hope you like these recipes; they are already in my list of favorite recipes for parties and unexpected guests (or a movie night at home).