Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lemon Berry Tartlets – Puff and Stuff

About 30 years ago, I made puff pastry from scratch in culinary school. It came out really, really well, and I haven’t made it since. Why? Because frozen puff pastry is so readily available, so consistently perfect, and so easy to work with, that the thought of going through all the time and trouble to make my own seems kind of crazy.

Of course, that’s a poor attitude for a cook, and one I’ve been fighting against all these years as I convince people that making your own bread, dressings, cheese, crème fraiche, etc. is a worthwhile pursuit. So, eventually I will show you how to make puff pastry, and hopefully somehow reconcile this obvious hypocrisy, but for now, we defrost.

By the way, I realize that berry season is probably over where you live, but fresh California blackberries were still around a few weeks ago when I filmed this video, and so I’m posting it anyway, seasonality be damned. This is really about the technique for making little puff pastry tart shells anyway, and I’m very confident you’ll figure out how to fill them.

Speaking of which, don’t limit your brainstorming to sweet treats. These lovely little cups make for a stellar base for all kinds of savory bites. I’ve filled these with sautéed mushrooms, chicken salads, and smoked salmon, just to name a few. Regardless of what you fill them with, they will be very well received. I hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 12 tartlets:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, partially thawed (you should get 12 tartlets if you use a 2-inch cutter like I did)
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup lemon curd, vanilla custard, chocolate mousse, whipped cream, or other appropriate filling
12 fresh blackberries
powdered sugar, as needed
*Bake puff pastry at 400 degrees F. for 13-15 minutes, allow to fully cool before filling.

View the complete recipe