February 2, 2014

Pear Feuilletes

No surprise as to what is inside the pear feuillete - it's in the shape of a pear! This week's pastry is a somewhat of a combination between the apple turnover and pithivier that we made the past two weeks. Poached pears and almond cream are encased in puff pastry, the top in a lattice pattern to reveal the slices of pear inside. 


I made a pear feuillete and turnover this week. I'll admit when we came to the week for apple turnovers, I wasn't too excited about the apple puree filling. I wanted something more so I held off till this week. The combination of almond cream and poached pears is so lovely.

To create the pear shape, I free-form cut the shape on two pieces of puff stacked so they would be the same size, top and bottom. For the lattice top, I didn't have a lattice cutter so I used the paring knife for to make cut outs. I didn't take into account the filling inside the pastry so my lattice top was a bit too small and I had to stretch it quite a bit to cover the poached pear and seal at the edges.

Poaching the pears was really simple as it was a partial poaching. I made the poaching liquid and soaked the pears in it overnight. The pears finished cooking in the oven. After baking for 30 minutes, the pear feuillete was perfectly golden. I ate it warm because it was sizzling from the caramelization and it smelled so buttery and sweet. The white wine in the poached pear was a wonderful touch to contrast the mellow flavor of the pear. The almond cream added richness and nuttiness that I loved. To round it all out, a flaky, buttery puff shell that was so good, each week of this chapter, I'm continually reminded that homemade puff pastry is truly worth the effort. My favorite puff creation so far!   


I was sick last week so I made these a bit late. But they were worth the wait! I had already bought the pears before I got sick too, so I was really bummed I couldn't make these on time. Better late than never, right? 

It seemed like the gods were against me on this one. I was sick, didn't have a pear cutter, and didn't have a lattice cutter either. But I made it work! I had to make more puff pastry, as I had run out, so that took a whole day. Then I poached the pears overnight, and was ready to assemble. It took a lot longer than I expected. I used a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter to get a rough impression, and cut the shape a little narrower. Rolling out the dough, making the impressions, slicing the pears and placing them, cutting the lattice and laying it over were all really time consuming tasks. It took nearly all day! 

The pastry puffed up nicely and browned well, and the smell was wonderful. These would be lovely warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The one thing I'm having a hard time with is finding uses for the scraps of puff pastry. The book says, reserve for another use. What use? If you combine the scraps and re-roll them, it won't puff up as well. I've ended up making various shaped cheese straws from them. But I wish there was a better use for the scraps. 

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