FEATURED RECIPE

Fresh Apricot Breakfast Pastries

Fresh Apricot Breakfast Pastries
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I am weak as a kitten around ripe apricots; I’ll eat them until my stomach hurts. I had my first ever as a 24-year-old traveling in Italy and forevermore looked for that tart, sweet, glorious sunny flavor. This elegant pastry is usually found in the most swish of Parisian patisseries, yet it’s dead simple to make once you’ve mastered quick puff and pastry cream, two skills that are always good to have in your arsenal. Cut the fruit at the very last minute and toss with the lemon juice right away so it will not oxidize and discolor. Pay close attention to the quality of the fruit and make sure they are the same size with no bruises—and these pastries will look very fancy indeed. Apricot is the classic flavor, but apricots can be difficult to find on the East Coast, so I often substitute white peaches, which hold a similar, though more floral, allure. You could also substitute blueberries, raspberries, halved pitted cherries or plums, or any combination of summer fruit.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 recipe (20 ounces, 500 g) Quick Puff Pastry, or store-bought
  • 6 ripe apricots, halved and pitted; or 3 small white peaches, pitted and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cool water and ÂĽ teaspoon kosher salt)
  • Pastry Cream, below, cold
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam, heated and strained
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly dust the counter, the puff pastry, and the rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough to a 16- by 12-inch rectangle and cut into 12 (4-inch) squares.
  2. Stir the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice together. Place the pastry squares on the parchment-lined baking sheet spaced evenly apart. Using a paring knife, make a shallow knife slash around each square, ½ inch from the edges. Dock the center of each square by making a shallow X, again, not slic¬ing all the way through.
  3. Paint the egg wash on the edges of each square. Pipe or spoon about 2 tablespoons pastry cream in the center. Chill the pastries for 30 minutes before baking.
  4. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Top the pastry cream with the apricot halves, rounded side up. Slide the pastries into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The pastry will turn deeply golden brown and the fruit and pastry cream will get very gently freckled here and there. Remove from the oven and brush the surface of the fruit with the warm jam.
  6. Cool a little before serving, then dust generously with powdered sugar and dig in. If you choose to stand over the pastries as they cool to smell the warm apricots mingling with the vanilla-scented pastry cream, who am I to stop you?

Excerpted from When Pies Fly: Handmade Pastries from Strudels to Stromboli, Empanadas to Knishes to Knishes by Cathy Barrow (copyright © 2019 by Cathy Barrow).  Reprinted with permission from Grand Central Publishing.  All rights reserved.

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