Friday, April 23, 2010
One of the things you learn in pastry school is how to make all kinds of French pastries using laminated doughs like puff pastry. This type of pastry is known as Viennoiserie and there is a whole line of things that are fairly simple but really delicious. One such pastry is the Jalousie, the French term for slatted or louvered windows. The name applies because several slats are cut into the surface of the top to create steam vents.
Although the Jalousie is traditionally made with puff pastry, I make it with a Sour Cream Pastry dough that is fast and not as fussy to produce. It doesn’t replicate the texture of all that great puff pastry flakiness, but is more like a simple turnover. Puff pastry certainly has its virtues, but it’s quite rich and is a fairly big project that takes quite a bit of time to prepare.
I absolutely love blueberries. I love the taste and bright beautiful color that splashes like a spectacular ink on the plate. So I stuff this Jalousie with lots of blueberries. The filling is prepared by simmering some of the berries with sugar and a cornstarch slurry for just a few minutes to create some gorgeous juices. Fresh berries and lemon juice are then added to the juicy mixture to keep it tasting like pure fresh blueberry goodness. If you're a blueberry fiend like me, this pastry is very simple to make and even simpler to enjoy.
- The dough and/or the filling can be made and held separately and refrigerated overnight.
- I roll the dough out on parchment paper so it can be lifted onto a baking sheet and placed in the refrigerator without stretching or tearing it. Once the dough is sufficiently chilled, it is much easier to handle and can be cut and lifted off the sheet very easily.
- Fill with any fresh fruit you wish. Just be sure to adjust the sugar level and whether or not you need cornstarch based on your fruit of choice.
- This pastry should be eaten the same day it is baked.
Makes about 4 servings
Sour Cream Pastry
1 C flour
1 T sugar
1/8 t salt
4 oz (1 stick) of cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 C sour cream
3 C fresh blueberries
1 T water
1/4 C sugar
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 1 T water
2 t lemon juice
1 egg + 1 T water for egg wash
For the pastry, combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and process until the butter is reduced to smallish pieces and the mixture resembles coarse meal for the most part. Add sour cream and yolk and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Be careful not to overmix. Gather the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and seal it. Chill thoroughly.
Place 1 1/2 C of blueberries in a saucepan. Add 1 T water and 1/4 C sugar and cook over low heat until the juices start to bubble, about 2 –3 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1 T water and add to the bubbling fruit. Cook for just a couple of minutes until thickened. Take off heat and add lemon juice. Cool completely. Fold in the remaining 1 1/2 C fresh blueberries.
Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured piece of parchment. Roll out a square measuring a bit bigger than 11” x 11”, then trim the edges to make a clean square. Cut the dough in half to make two equal pieces measuring 11” x 5 1/2 “. Stack on a baking sheet with parchment in between and chill for another few minutes to make the pieces easier to handle.
Combine the egg and water to make an egg wash.
Place one of the rectangles on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush about a 1” border of egg wash. Mound the filling evenly down the middle and flatten just to the edge of the egg wash, within 1” of the edge of the pastry on all sides. Take the second rectangle and cut about 8 or so slats across to form steam vents. Place it on top of the blueberry mixture and press down tightly around the edge of the fruit to seal the border. Trim the dough if necessary to keep the edges neat. Refrigerate until the oven is ready.
Place an oven rack in the top third of the oven and a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Brush the pastry with egg wash, being careful to avoid the vents.
Bake on the top rack for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet from front to back and move to the bottom rack. Continue baking for another 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool before handling.