Puff Pastry with Raspberries
Pretty stacks of golden pastry, red raspberries, and ivory pastry cream stand next to a pool of raspberry sauce decorated with yogurt. The yogurt is an interesting touch, a tasty shortcut instead of creme anglaise. To take some of the last-minute work out of this elegant dessert, decorate the plates ahead of time and refrigerate until shortly before time to serve the dessert. The raspberry-pastry stacks may also be assembled into two layers, then refrigerated. During dinner, take the plates and partially-assembled desserts out of the refrigerator part way through the entree so they can warm slightly. At the last minute, dust the pastry tops with the confectioner’s sugar and assemble the desserts on the waiting plates.
- Pastry Cream
- Gelatin - 1 1/2 Sheets (alt. 1 teaspoon powdered gelatin and 2 tablespoons cold milk)
- Milk - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cups
- Egg Yolk - 4
- Cornstarch - 2 tablespoons
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Puff pastry dough - 20 oz
- Pastry cream (above)
- Raspberries - 1-1/2 to 2 cups
- Raspberry sauce - 1-1/2 cups
- Skim Vanilla Yogurt - 3 tablespoons
- Confectioner's Sugar - 3/4 cup
- Mint - 6 leaves
To make the pastry cream: Soak the sheet of gelatin in cold water to cover. Or, if using gelatin powder, place the 2 tablespoons of cold milk in a cup and stir in the gelatin to dissolve; set aside.
Combine 2 cups milk and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a medium saute pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until the sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk half of the hot milk into the yolk mixture. Add the yolk mixture back to the milk in the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and starts to boil, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain the gelatin sheets if using. Add the gelatin and cornstarch to the custard; whisk to combine. Pour into a bowl and dot the surface with bits of butter. Let cool completely. If chilling overnight, press a sheet of plastic wrap on the surface and place in the refrigerator.
To prepare the pastry: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Prick all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, until glazed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Cut into eighteen 4-inch circles.
To assemble: Set aside 6 perfect raspberries. Put the pastry cream in a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Place raspberries around the perimeter of 12 pastry circles and pipe pastry cream into the centers. Stack the circles to make six double-layered stacks. Heavily dust the remaining pastry circles with confectioner’s sugar and place one on top of each stack.
To serve: Make a 4-inch circular pool of raspberry sauce to one side of each of six dessert plates. Make a cone of paper and snip off a small bit of the tip to make a narrow decorating cone and put the yogurt inside. Make a spiral of yogurt on each circle of sauce. Starting at the center, draw outwards with a toothpick in a radial pattern. Reverse direction and draw inwards between each line to complete the pattern. Use a flat spatula to lift a dessert and place beside the sauce on each plate. Garnish each with a mint sprig and one of the reserved raspberries.