Having puff pastry in the freezer is dangerous and very tempting! I had some leftover when I made this Really easy puff pastry last month, hope you do try it sometime! I sound like an unruly kid but I would have made more and stashed it away if only the mercury levels hadn't shot up so suddenly! No, am not a summer person at all and puff pastry is just another reason for me to adore winters.
I was contemplating making 'something' with that pastry when I noticed that some strawberry ice cream I had made hadn't set inspite of freezing it overnight. Alarm bells clanged like crazy! Was the puff pastry ruined already? I had to make something real quick!
I sent up a prayer, put the pastry in the refrigerator to thaw, and then made some quick orange and lime posset. I have made it more than 3 times now and absolutely loved the simplicity of this refreshing summer dessert. Just 3 ingredients and 10 minutes is all it takes to put together this ridiculously easy make-ahead cream. You can serve it as it topped with fresh fruit like strawberries, kiwi fruit or mangoes.
If I have managed to tempt you just a bit, do watch this video on the posset, I promise you will make it soon!
And then I poached a couple of pears in vanilla syrup, left it to chill. All I had to do was bake the pastry the next day and serve. I love recipes like this, where each element can be made well ahead, makes it all so easy, but satisfying. The plan was to serve the cream and poached pears on top of the flaky pastry.
Puff pastry - 1 recipe
Lime and orange cream - 1 recipe
Firm pears - 2-3
Water - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1/4 cup or more to taste
Vanilla bean - 1/4
Make the cream ahead and refrigerate overnight to set. Thaw the puff pastry overnight (if you have stored it in the freezer)
To poach the pears :
Wash and peel the pears, slice into half lengthwise. Bring the water, sugar and the vanilla bean to a simmer. Lower the pears into it and simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. The pears must be soft enough to pierce a knife easily into it, but not mushy. Turn off the heat and let the pears cool in the syrup. Slice them decoratively ( mine were badly bruised in places so could make them look pretty at all!), leave in the syrup. Refrigerate airtight till serving time. You could serve these as it with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for a light dessert.
To bake the puff pastry :Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Remove the pastry from the fridge and leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes. Just till it is firm but malleable enough to roll with just gentle pressure. Dust flour lightly on the counter. roll the pastry 3-4 mm thick and cut out circles using a cookie cutter. Prick all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from puffing up in the oven.
Place the circles on the lined sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer if needed. Bake at 180 C for 25-30 minutes or till golden and crisp. Store airtight if needed.
To serve : Just before serving, rewarm the pastry. When it is no longer hot or even warm, spoon the cream and top with the drained pear slices. Serve immediately without any delay.
It was a relief to see the pastry turn out crisp and flaky, in spite of the obvious problem with the freezer. The dessert did not look pretty as I had thought it would, but it surely made an enjoyable dessert for us. And I guess in the end , that's all that matters!