Strawberry Nutella Stuffed Pastry

        Strawberry Nutella Stuffed Pastry 010

It’s strawberry season!  I love strawberry shortcake just as much as the next person, but sometimes I need chocolate.  These flaky, buttery pastries are filled with rich nutella, and juicy sweet red strawberries.  They are amazing!

If you don’t want to go to all the trouble to make puff pastry yourself (and who could blame you!), purchase some in the freezer section of your local grocer.

So go ahead and swap that shortcake for a buttery pastry, it’s the perfect hand-held, make-ahead, summer-time, Memorial day/4th of July-celebrating treat.  Be sure to make extra, because these go fast!

Puff Pastry Adapted from Volume Two Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cake flour

3/4 stick of cold unsalted butter, cut into Tablespoons

1 1/8 cup ice water*

2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Whisk the flours together in a medium bowl.  Scoop out 1/2 cup of the flour mixture to use later – set aside.**

Add the butter to the remaining flour mixture and cut it in until you have pea-sized crumbles of butter and flour.

Add salt to the ice water* and stir until completely dissolved.

Pour the salt water into the flour mixture and mix together until combined.  The dough may be slightly tacky.

*I usually measure 1 cup of water and add ice to make 1 1/8 cup stirring vigorously until melted.  Once the ice is melted, I pour off any extra liquid.

**You will use this to combine with the butter that goes in between the dough layers.

On a large piece of parchment (lightly floured) shape the dough into a square and flatten it slightly.  Wrap up the dough in the parchment and place it in a plastic bag.  Refrigerate for about 45 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

In the meantime, prepare your butter layer.

Butter Layer

3 sticks of cold, unsalted butter

1/2 cup of reserved flour mixture

On a piece of parchment, place the three sticks of butter and pound them with a rolling pin until they appear pliable.  Add the flour to the butter and work them together with bottom of your hand.  Do this until all the flour has been incorporated into the butter.  Shape the butter mixture into a square (more or less) and wrap it up in the parchment and put it in the refrigerate to chill.

Before you continue, make sure the butter layer has hardened.  If not, allow it to do so before moving to the next step.

When the butter has hardened, take out the square of dough and place it on lightly floured parchment.  Roll the dough into a large square (using more flour as needed to prevent sticking).  Place the chilled butter in the center, and wrap it up – first pulling the top of the dough over, then the right side, then the bottom, then the left side.  Now it should resemble a package.

Turn the package over and pound the dough evenly with the rolling pin, flattening out the butter layer.  Once the dough has flattened out a bit, begin to roll the dough out – about 16 inches in length and 8 inches in width.  Sprinkle with flour as needed to prevent sticking.

When it is completely rolled out, fold the dough like a letter, folding the bottom section halfway up the middle, then folding the top down.  Place the dough in front of you with the fold on your left side.

Roll out the dough again and repeat the folding.  Wrap the dough up in parchment and place in a plastic bag.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Next. .

Roll and fold

Roll and fold, wrap up and refrigerate for 1 hour

Roll and fold

Roll and fold, wrap up and refrigerate for 1 hour

Now the dough is ready for baking. . .whew, that was a lot of work!

Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, trim off edges so it’s somewhat uniform.  I use a pizza cutter to do this.  Then cut into rectangles.

For the plain pastry, fold the dough over itself and crimp using a fork.  Place pastries on parchment, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before baking.  Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with sugar just before baking.

Bake in a preheated oven set at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Gently lift the pastry (with a spatula) to check to see if the bottoms are browned before removing from the oven, otherwise they will deflate as they cool.

Strawberry Nutella Pastry

Nutella

Strawberries, washed and dried

Cut a pastry if half, slather nutella on the bottom half, and top with sliced fresh strawberries, fold over the top.  Eat immediately.  Enjoy!

Egg wash

1 egg

2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Whisk together the egg and the heavy cream until combined.

Mid May 2013 060

To make the chocolate stuffed bird pastries, buy these cutters.  Then use the cutter to cut the shape on the bottom section of the pastry.  Flip the pastry over and place chocolate chips on the bottom section, then fold the cut-out section over, and crimp the sides with a fork.  Place the bird cut-out on top.  Place the pastry on parchment, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the bottom to make sure it’s brown before removing from the oven.

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