Delicate pastries can seem intimidating. The creamy, fluffy goodness you get from your local bakery may seem like magic, but with a few simple tricks, you can create your own soft, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness. The most important trick is to buy pre-made puff pastry. Making puff pastry from scratch is, indeed, an art and maybe a bit of magic. Pastry chefs are definitely to be admired. Fortunately, the pre-made ones are almost as good, and very few people will know the difference. Just dust a little flour on your apron and pretend it was a major project.
These Blueberry Cheese Pastry Puffs are reminiscent of cheese Danishes. The soft, creamy cheese is lightly sweetened with either icing sugar or honey. It combines perfectly with tart sweetness of the dried blueberries and the hint of lemon zest. Add in the flaky pastry, and your friends will be wondering when you decided to become a pastry chef. Whether for a weekend breakfast with your partner or brunch with friends, everyone will want to know your secrets. You can even pack them in a container and head out for a morning picnic. These are great with coffee or tea. For a little extra pizzazz, have them with mimosas.
For the filling
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup icing sugar or honey
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 t vanilla
- 1/2 t lemon zest
- 2 T flour
For the assembly
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray lightly with cooking oil.
- Mix all of the ricotta filling ingredients together thoroughly with a wooden spoon and set aside while you prepare the pastries.
- Lay both of your pastry sheets out on a flat and lightly floured surface.
- With a sharp knife, cut the first pastry sheet into three rectangles. Most pastry sheets have fold lines to make your cutting easier.
- Cut each rectangle into four equal sections. You should now have 12 small rectangles. They do not have to be perfect, but it is good to try to make them roughly the same size so the frames will fit correctly.
- Repeat this process with the second pastry sheet.
- Place 12 of the rectangles on the cookie sheet. Be sure they are 5 cm apart to give them space for puffing. You may need more than one cookie sheet if your cookie sheets are smaller.
- With the remaining 12 rectangles, cut the center out with your knife, leaving a little more than 1 cm on each side. These are your frames.
- One by one, wet the edges of each rectangle on your cookie sheet with a little water, and place the frame firmly on top.
- With all pastries assembled on your cookie sheet, place 1 heaping T of the ricotta filling in each one.
- Brush a little bit of egg white on all of the pastry edges.
- Place them in the preheated oven, and cook for 15 minutes, or until pastries have puffed and are lightly browned on the edges.
- With a few minutes of cook time remaining, add the blueberries to the top of your pastry puffs. Press them lightly into the ricotta mix with a fork so they are partially submerged.
For a variation, you can also make these in muffin tins.
These Blueberry Cheese Pastry Puffs can be enjoyed warm or cooled. They make a fabulous breakfast or brunch, but are also perfect for a fresh, sweet dessert. This light, creamy pastry will delight all your guests and disappear quickly.