Friday, April 23, 2010

Blueberry Jalousie

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.

Bench notes:
- 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.

Blueberry Jalousie
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 yolk
1/3 C sour cream

Blueberry Filling

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.


Unknown said...

Ooh, the blueberry is so oozy and sexy. Much more enticing than the industrial jam and almond paste jalousies I made in school.

Anonymous said...

That looks amazing. I'm starving now.

nakedbeet said...

I've been wanting to make a jalousie and this looks beautiful, thanks for the dough alternative recipe. I'm really liking the lower butter option for that.

astheroshe said...

Love you blog! Miam MIAM!

Barbara said...

I like your pastry option, but also think I will try it with puff pastry, which I love. I know it's richer, but I'd only make this lovely dessert for company.

monica said...

just stumbled upon your blog, it is are fabulous and the photos are amazing WOW!

Bryan said...

the golden color of the dough in the images looks so good!

have you ever frozen the dough and then worked with it?


pastry studio said...

Thanks everyone for your lovely comments!

Hi Bryan! I normally don't freeze stuff so I'm not able to respond to your question. I imagine it would be fine but haven't tested it myself.

mehndi designs said...

This looks very inviting. I'm currently taking up pastry lessons and our homework is to look for recipes to serve the class. I hope you don't mind me using yours. Thank you for sharing.

Jane said...

Oh! So beautiful. I'm experiencing jalousie jealousy! ;) Your photos, along with your recipes, are just exceptionally appealing. Really a pleasure to visit your blog!

Elana said...

I really love this post. It is seriously the most delicious looking pastry I have seen. I use my KitchenAid stand mixer almost every day since I got it, and I can't wait to try this out.

Chris said...

I made this two days ago and it was delicious. Tomorrow I'm going to try making it with peaches. Do you recommend pre-cooking half the peaches in the same way? And should I use cornstarch?

I've really been enjoying this blog since I discovered it a few weeks ago.

pastry studio said...

Hello Chris! So glad you enjoyed the Blueberry Jalousie. As for peaches, it really depends on how ripe and how juicy your fruit is. If your peaches are quite ripe and you cut into fairly small pieces, you probably don't need to cook them on the stovetop, which is a way of releasing juices and tenderizing the fruit. Blueberries tend to have a lot of juice but you may not need much thickener if any for peaches, again depending on how ripe and juicy your fruit is. Sugar should also be adjusted depending on how sweet your peaches are. So just gauge your fruit and work from there. I'm sure it will be delicious!!

Chris said...

Thanks for the advice! I made it, without corn starch and using only a small amount of sugar (because my peaches were great; they're from Missouri, which makes them almost local here in Iowa). It came out great and was delicious, but I do think the blueberry version is better -- the peach taste seems a little more likely to get lost amidst all the pastry.

pastry studio said...

You're so welcome. Your peaches sound wonderful. Since blueberries have a very assertive flavor, I can see what you mean about the peaches, which are much more subtle. I'm excited that the fruit is so good so far this season.

Anonymous said...

made these yesterday, they were awesome! And it was my first time ever making these!

pastry studio said...

That's great! I'm so glad you enjoyed this pastry. Pretty easy and very tasty!