Puff, the Magic Pastry

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(PS–how many people born after, oh say, 1970, would get the title’s reference?) Now that I have you mildly depressed, let me cheer things up by talking about an awesome, awesomely-easy-to-make, dessert.

I believe I have mentioned earlier that my mother has been at me to up my presentation skills. She truly believes that people eat with their eyes before eating with anything else. Honestly, I think that’s a LITTLE silly. Some of the world’s (or at least America’s) favorite foods do NOT look that pretty. Want proof? OK. How about meatloaf? How does ANYONE cook meatloaf in such a way that it doesn’t look like (sliced) hamburger bread? Or take macaroni and cheese. Especially if you’re doing this the way all good southern gals should, your end product will look like a pile of yellow/orange brain matter. Ooh–or one of my mother’s favorites (as it was she who inspired this rant): beef stroganoff. I got two words for you: “grey food”. Who wants to eat something that color?

I digress. While I’m reluctant to admit it, my mother does have a point. I should try to up my presentation skills; they do kinda suck at the moment, I should always strive for improvement, and if I’m really getting into blogging it can’t hurt. What’s been amazing in my slow yet steady attempts to make my food LOOK better is how little of my “process” (for lack of a better word) I have to change. The recipe below–from an ingredient standpoint–is honestly (to me, at least) not that avant-garde. It’s very simple. But it LOOKS so elegant. And even that’s not hard–it’s folding. Just like the real trick with the salmon wellington came in braiding…this is almost a joke in terms of true difficulty.

So again, this dish is easy to make. There aren’t that many ingredients. It’s especially good to have in your wheelhouse if you’re making hors d’oeuvres. This is also fairly savory as desserts go, so it’s good to keep around for people who hate sweet stuff (like yours truly). Enjoy!

PEAR AND GOAT CHEESE PUFF PASTRY STARS

INGREDIENTS:

  • Puff pastry
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Pam, or similar substance
  • Goat cheese
  • Rosemary
  • Pear
  • Honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
  2. Roll your puff pastry, using the flour. Cut into squares. Make slices going into (though not completely across) the diagonals of your squares.
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  3. Layer in the center as follows: goat cheese, fresh rosemary, chopped pear, drizzled honey.
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  4. You now have eight “flaps”. Start at any one and proceed (counter)clockwise in an elementary-school girlish “he loves me/he loves me not” but with “I fold it in/I fold it not”.

    One such star/pinwheel
    One such star/pinwheel
  5. Bake in your preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown on top, and there’s a crust on the bottom.

    Such a dainty thing, isn't it? And DOESN'T IT LOOK PRETTY?!
    Such a dainty thing, isn’t it? And DOESN’T IT LOOK PRETTY?!
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