Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Pastries

This has been a subject of great debate during this December. 'Svenska Dagbladet', a Swedish newspaper, wrote an article about a new pastry to try this Christmas. They had the recipe and a picture of the pastries laid out nicely. And then someone in the social media got unhappy. Apparently they saw the pastry as an edible swastika. This caused a lot of talk and it even reached the Finnish media. The people from 'Svenska Dagbladet' made a statement that they don't really understand what the deal is.

I personally don't see a swastika in these but that's probably because I've eaten and made these for years. Now you can make these as well and come up with your own opinion on the matter. You can make these even if you don't celebrate christmas and call them holiday pastries.

These are made from puff pastry and traditionally plum marmalade. I don't like plum so I don't use it and you don't have to either. Just use any bakeproof marmalade or jam. The puff pastry needs to be nearly frozen when you start working on it. Just enough thawed that you can cut it. The pastry that I use is thick - you can see it in the pictures - to ensure maximum rise.

Start by cutting your puff pastry to squares. Then cut inwards from each corner. Don't cut all the way to the middle.

After you have all of your squares cut as shown, you need to wait for them to thaw out a little more so you can handle them without snapping them in pieces. When they are thawe enough you can continue to the next step which is folding. At this point you should also preheat your oven according to instructions on the puff pastry, mine were in at 225 degrees Celcius.

Start by taking one the halves of the corners you cut and fold it to the middle.

Push the corner down so it attaches itself to the middle. You may need a little water to act as glue. You can see that all of the corner halves are kind of in their own sections so the next corner you fold needs to be from the next section. My "flawless" explanation skills are the reason I love pictures.

You can see what I mean in the pictures.

Third corner goes in, remember to push them all in well.

Starting to take shape nicely.

And the last corner. Give one last push down to make sure they don't open while baking.

After you've folded all of your squares brush them lightly with eggwash. You don't have to do this it just gives an even golden colour on top.

Add your marmalade of choice on top. I used raspberry but as I mentioned earlier you can use what ever your heart desires as long as you make sure that it's bakeproof.

Bake according to instructions, mine took about 12 minutes. When you take them out of the oven allow to cool for at least 10 minutes because the marmalade will feel like lava in your mouth if you just start eating them.

This method of folding is one of many but it is my personal favourite. You can also put the marmalade in the middle of a puff pastry circle and fold in to a half moon shape, or put the jam in the middle of these squares and then fold in the corners and a few others that are too hard to explain. But essentially the world is your pickle.

Here's the finished product. The Engineer likes plum so I made a few just for him and the pale ones at the bottom are made with apple and cinnamon marmalade which is new to both of us. If served straight away you can dust them with icing sugar if you'd like.

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