You want something with a WOW! factor. You have to take some time and make your own puff pastry. It isn’t as hard as you might think. Like many items in the kitchen the hardest part of making your own is finding a little extra time to make something fancy. Puff pastry is great because it is just as easy to make up more than you need and freeze the extra. The ingredients are also common ones that you probably already have on hand.
Ingredients Puff Pastry:
2.5 cups flour (all purpose works well)
1/2 lb butter or two sticks
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
Roll out the butter between sheets of seal wrap first. The butter should be refrigerator cold. You want to roll into a squarish shape roughly 5″ x 7″. Put the wrapped butters on a plate and set in the fridge for at least a half hour.
Mix the flour and salt together. Add water slowly to start bringing it together. You may not need all the water, just enough that you can form the flour into a ball. This does not need to be kneaded (say that 5 times fast). Let the dough ball rest for at least 10 minutes.
Roll the dough out to roughly a 21″ by 7″ rectangle. If you go over this a little it is ok, just fold up the edges to even it out. Lay the first butter plank in the middle third of the dough. Cover this with a second third of dough and then add the other butter plank and cover it as well. You will now have 5 layers, (2 butter and 3 dough.
Turn the dough mass so the folds are facing your left and right. Roll this out to the same size as before and fold just as you did before. Repeat this one more time. Dust it lightly with flour and mark the dough with one indentation to remind yourself you have done this 1 time. Place in a plastic bag and let it chill out in the fridge for at least a half hour. Repeat this process two more times.
At this point you could freeze the dough or you can let it chill in the fridge till you are ready to work with it. It is ready to go after at least another half hour in the fridge.
When you are ready to make your pastries, roll the dough out to about 14 inches and cut it in half. Put one half in the fridge while you work with the other half. Roll the second half out to the thickness you desire (about 1/4 inch works great) and cut the shapes you desire.
Cook the pastry at 425 to 450 for 12 to 15 minutes. You will get your best rise from a hotter oven. But you will also need to watch the color of your pastries. Too hot and they will become darker than you might desire.
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
enough water to start at the top level of the peaches
Mix it all in a pot and cook on med to med high allowing the peaches to cook and the liquid to become syrup. Serve on icecream or puff pastry. This works great like you might expect strawberry shortcake would.
Time for a pint…