Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mini fig pastry

'You people only have A no B' (leaving me no option) is what I always say to my husband every time I'm pushed to a dead end. Even only one person making a mistake, his/her whole circle or nation of people are to be blamed. I'm bad I know...

Now I'm preparing a menu for Easter - as per request, no coffee, no tea, no soda, no bread, no potato, no red meat; fine, doing nothing is easy. One guest was informed to bring over a dessert, but I'm shock to hear her 'no' (she doesn't take white sugar). Hey, the dessert is for everybody! I told my husband I actually preferred going to restaurant then. But he said it wasn't his/their tradition. See, only A no B! Ok, I have my b - my blog, am going to brine myself in sugar for whole week until Easter! Recipe (yield about 30 mini-pastries)

*for the dough's recipe, adapted from Sweet Miniatures by Flo Braker*

For the filling*: prepare 1 1/2 cups, recipe please see here

For the cream cheese pastry dough*:
  • 1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 Tbp sugar
  • a bit of grated lemon zest (only use organic, non-organic tastes bitter)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • Poppy seeds as garnish
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt to combine. Use a pastry blender to cut butter into flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Combine it with cream cheese, knead briefly if necessary. Flatten the dough, wrap, refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Slightly flour the work table, roll dough to a rectangle (we aim to 14.5 x 11.5-inch). It's ok if it can't spread that far, the dough needs to rest anyway, will roll it more later. Resting is essential, it yields a tender crust. Wrap well, rest for another 2 hours.
  • After you get the size, trim the four sides of the rectangle, egg wash, divide into three strips, cut in lengthwise.
  • Take out one strip, spread the filling, but leave one third (lengthwise) and both ends (about 1/2 inch) unfilled. Lengthwise, fold the unfilled third over half the filling, then fold again. Press the both ends, seam-side down. Proceed to repeat the other two strips.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375F
  • Transfer the three logs on a large baking sheet, gently shape them with fingers. Egg wash. Bake them for 12 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake until golden brown (mine took another 10 minutes).
  • Place the logs on the parchment paper to a wire rack until cool. Using a sharp knife cut diagonally into smaller slices.

My notes:

  • Flo Baker uses filling made with dry fruit, e.g. currants. Process them with butter, sugar and honey.



Brilynn said...

Wow! I can't believe the number of restrictions you have on the meal you'll be preparing! If anyone can make it work though, you can. And if you need someone to eat your sweets, I'm available...

Lis said...

Is that your pretty smile in the background? =)

I'm with Bril.. can't believe all those restrictions - but even more, I can't wait to see what you come up with. =))

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yes, well, this will be a facinating menu you must come out with. Looking forward to it. In the mean time I'm with you and the mini fig pastry...those look fantastic.

Bong Mom said...

Why al those restrictions Gattina..not very clear is it do with Lent or something ?

Helene said...

I am amazed that you have kept your cool so long!
I love that book by Flo Braker. I use it a lot when catering events. The recipes always work out great.

Anonymous said...

Love the pastries, they look so delicious!

FH said...

Some people are so rude!Really!! How dare they take us for granted!!

I love the smile of your kid.She must be happy I am sure.Pastries look fabulous.Eat those in front of that lady who don't want sugar!!;D

Happy Easter! Enjoy.

Callipygia said...

Beautiful high class fig newtons! Easter w/o sweets, the easter bunny won't be too happy.

Anonymous said...

Gattina what a lovely Easter treat. Nice as a gift too...

Anh said...

Gattina, I understand the feeling of being pushed to an dead end! Just got over one silly thing other people bring up. But I know you can manage it dear.

Seema Bhat said...

Oh Gattina,
How can someone impose all those restrictions and have someone cook something. Thats really rude.
Coming to those yummy looking mini pastry, they look fantabulous Gattina. I know I have said this one hundred times. The pictures are just so very beautiful every time. Love it.

Anonymous said...

Geez, that's an awful lot of rules to play by! I bet you'll come up with something unique though and I can only hope that you share the results with us. :)

I have the same question as lis: is that your smile?

Ari (Baking and Books)

Peabody said...

MUCH better than Fig Newtons!

Passionate Eater said...

Even with all of those restrictions on the Easter menu, knowing your cooking skill, I know you'll still knock their socks off! No restriction can stop the creativity of Gattina!

J said...

Oh, no white sugar? I can have plenty of it anytime :) And there you go again with your figs!!

Freya said...

I am so in love with your food that it hurts! These look sooo wonderful!

Saffron said...

Darling, I'm looking for an easter recipe for you!
I suggest you "Torta Pasqualina" from Liguria.
Later I'll send you the recipe.
Greta these sweets with fig, one of my favourites fruits!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you will come up with something brilliant and inventive! :) Are they lenten restrictions? In any case, those fig tarts are absolutely yummy-looking!

Sia said... many restrictions!!! i dont think i would have entered the kitchen;)
thats a cute pastry with cute smile. everytime i come to ur blog u make my jaw drop. i am sure u must have had got hundreads, make it thousands, of comments saying how good they look. but like others even i cant stop saying this... i am drooling:)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Gattina, I'd be so glad to eat your food I'd even have red meat. ;)

These pastries are so delicious! I have that book but so far haven't made anything from it!

Madam Chow said...

You are a trooper. Frankly, I'm aghast at the guest who would not bring dessert. If someone asks me to bring something I personally don't eat, I do it out of respect for my host. I think we have become rather narcissistic!

KA said...

Gorgeous pictures! Got here thru another blog about food photography. Did you take any courses on photography or is it pretty much self-taught?

Edith said...

I want a bite!!!!!! pleaaaasssseeee

Mishmash ! said...

Hey, can i use frozen pastry sheets for this ? (Yes , I am laazzyyyy ;)
Btw, whipping up a festive dinner/lunch with all those restrictions is a challenge, looks like u will have to break ur head a lot and dive into all the recipe sources..and I really hope all your guests appreciate that extra effort you put cheer up :) ....All the best :)


Anonymous said...

This really does sound like 'Dinner Impossible', good luck!

Fig pastries look delicous and are absolutely drool-worthy!

Anonymous said...

I feel for you G. Make them all plain white jook ( porridge) No everything lor.
LOL Very healthy. I get that too,no this no that etc
take care , have a Happy Easter inpite of these party poopers

Anonymous said...

Have fun making that meal... can't wait to see what you come up with out of those restrictions!
Good luck my dear :)

Gattina Cheung said...

Hi my friends, thanks for all your compliements! The girl behind the scene is my friend :D I'll just continue visting your sites, merely leaving my response here isn't enough to thank for your all sweet words *big hug*
About the lady refused to bring over the dessert, I don't know what exactly her reason is, more likely she's form some belief from some sort of dietary programs, but no matter what, in a social situation, she got to relax, esp no one blame her if she doesn't eat sweet, what she needs to do, just bring over :D
PP, how have you been? Miss you :D

Anonymous said...

They look sinfully it your child or you in the back smiling.. a gorgeous smile..


~ L. K. said...

I suppose that leaves fowl and fish, then! Oh, and rabbit. (Even veal and some lamb are considered white meat. Particularly milk-fed lamb.)

I would agree with the general consensus that refusing to bring dessert is rude. She says no to white sugar, but she cannot use brown?