Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lessons in Pastry

For a few days I've had boxes of fresh berries sitting in my fridge waiting to be used. I couldn't decide what to make with them until this morning. I woke up with an intense itch to make pastry!
I didn't want to mess with the berries too much (they are just so yummy and pretty by themselves), so I decided to make little pastry pockets! Yum... They turned out so delicious, I even surprised myself! :)
1/2 cup butter
2 & 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup of milk
2 eggs beaten
I cut the straberries to match the size of the raspberries and blue berries. I let them sit in 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.
First, for the pastry dough, I mixed together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, using my hands and room temperature butter, I worked the butter into the flour mixture until it looked like course corn meal. This is really important because the butter is what makes your pastry flaky and yummy.

After the butter is mixed in, make a well at the bottum of your bowl and pour in the milk and already beaten eggs. Fold in the milk and eggs very carfully and softy. Over working the pastry dough will make the pastry tough. Flaky, soft pastry is delicious so take your time! Go slow, be gentle!

After everything is mixed in, place your dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for an hour. While the dough is chilling, mix up your berries and get some counter space ready because you'll need it when you roll the dough out.
When your dough is ready, flour your counter space generously because the dough is sticky. Roll out the pastry 1/8th of an inch thick and cut into whatever shapre your heart desires.
I decided to put a few sugary berries in between two layers of flower-shaped pastry. I thought it was pretty and since I have no formal training in pastry arts I wasn't about to ruin the dough by trying something outlandish (Trust me, I've learned my lesson!).

Right before I put them into the oven, I brushed egg onto the pastries and sprinkled sugar on top to give them a pretty color. I baked my little flower pastry pockets for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. They turned out beautifully and most importantly, they taste really delicious and fresh!
This time on Lessons in Pastry, I learned that the more love you put into your pastry, the more it will love you back when you put it into your mouth!
Comments, questions, advice, criticisms? I'd love to hear from all of you!


  1. These look so simple and pretty! I love the flower shape.

  2. Oh gawsh. We're so different. When I desire to spontaneously bake, it involves a box of Jiffy Cornbread Mix.

    I admire your zeal. (and I need to put forth more effort in the kitchen)

  3. Hi there...we made a similar pastry from BFMHTY in the TWD baking group. I love the shape you used to cut out your pastry. Very cute and don't you just love Clara's site. She is so hilarious.