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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

June 21, 2007

Stuffed Strawberry Rhubarb Puff Pastry Pillows

Jamie said he especially liked desserts that contained fruit and that rhubarb-strawberry pie was one his all time favorites. So I decided to come up with something "pie-ish" but that wouldn't be something he'd necessarily had before.
Puff pastry was something that came to mind. Since I was transporting it I thought it would a good idea to make a cupcake out of the pastry dough and somehow fill it with a strawberry rhubarb compote. What I didn't consider was how wet the compote was and how it would interfere with the ability for the pastry to do its thing in the oven. So I ended up just cutting the pastry into squares and cooking them alone in the oven and that worked just fine.

After the pastry baked, it puffed up into a hollow pillow shape. I opened each pillow with a butter knife and filled each on with about 2 tablespoons for the compote. I topped each pillow with a tablespoon or so of the glaze and sifted powdered sugar.

Jamie liked it so much he had two servings. The only thing I would have done differently was top each pillow with some lightly sweetened whipped cream. Otherwise it was really good and looked very elegant.

Puff Pastry Pillows

Yield: About 30, depending on how big you cut the pastry.

1 package of puff pastry, thawed (takes about 40 minutes to thaw at room temperature)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Unfold the pastry on lightly floured surface.
For smaller pillows: Roll into 15"x12" rectangle and cut into 16- 20 squares.
For larger pillows: Cut into 9 squares.
Bake for about 10 minutes on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flip over each pillow and bake for another 4 or 5 minutes until lightly browned.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook, Country Breakfasts by Ken Haedrich

1 1/2 lbs of rhubarb
2 cups of warm water
2/3 cup of sugar
Zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
8 whole cloves or 2 teaspoons dried
4 tablespoons candied ginger, minced
2 pints of fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and sliced
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoons

Put a shallow glass dish in the freezer.

Trim the rhubarb by removing the ends, and leaves. Peel the rhubarb just as you would celery, removing any thick stringy sections. Put the peelings into a nonreactive saucepan with water, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cloves. Bring to boil, lower heat slightly and cover and boil for 5 minutes. Setup a large bowl with a strainer on top. Drain the mixture into the stainer. Discard the solid remaining but pour the remaining liquid back into the saucepan.

Cut the peeled rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces; if the stalks are wide, you can cut them lengthwise first. Bring the poaching liquid to simmer and add the rhubarb. Simmer gently, partially covered for 3 to 5 minutes. Ready the glass dish near the saucepan. At the first first sign of tenderness, transfer the rhubarb from the liquid with a slotted spoon to the glass dish. Spread the rhubarb out in the dish and refrigerate uncovered.

While the rhubarb cools, let the remaining poaching liquid come to a slow boil. In a small bowl combine the cold water and cornstarch. Increase the heat of the poaching liquid to a boil and reduce to about a 1/2 a cup. Add the cornstarch and bring to a boil again. Pour the liquid into a serving bowl and add the minced ginger. Cool to room temperature.

Add the strawberries to the rhubarb and add the poaching liquid. Toss gently and refrigerate.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote Glaze
1 cup of sifted powdered sugar
3 - 4 tablespoons of strawberry-rhubarb juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, strawberry+rhubarb drippings, and vanilla; stir until combined and smooth.


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