Blueberry Almond Pastries

blueberry-pastry

After blueberry picking, despite having made Blueberry-Chocolate Pudding and Blueberry Breakfast Cake, we still had a ton of berries left. Luckily, with a picnic coming up and a package of puff pastry in the freezer, I was able to throw together some last-minute pastries to use up another cup or so of berries!

These are actually almost exactly the same, technique-wise, as these Peach Almond Pastries I made at this time last year– and they worked out just as well! In this case the thick blueberry compote (microwaved, not stovetop!) was accented nicely with a layer of almond paste, and provided a nice contrast to the crisp, flaky layers of buttery pastry. Try this recipe the next time you have extra fruit lying around the house– you won’t regret it!

Blueberry Almond Pastries (makes 18)

1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed per package directions

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1/2 cup blueberry/blackberry/cherry jam (or whatever dark fruit you like), divided

1 tbs. cornstarch

3-4 oz. almond paste or marzipan

1 egg (or egg white)

powdered sugar for dusting

1. Toss blueberries with cornstarch in a microwave-safe bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of jam. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until thick and bubbly. The berries will burst and release a lot of juice, but the cornstarch will thicken them up just fine. Chill in the refrigerator or over an ice bath until it cools to room temperature.

blueberry-pastry-compote

2. On a floured cutting board, cut each sheet of puff pastry into 9 equal squares. Turn the squares over (for maximum rise) and carefully cut a square shape in the center of each square of dough. Don’t cut all the way through the dough, just score it enough to allow the edges to rise independently. Dock the center square section.

3. On a board dusted with powdered sugar, roll out your almond paste or marzipan into a rectangle (or two squares, if you want to make it easier) and cut out 18 squares to fit the centers of your pastry pieces. Place each square of almond paste in the center of a dough square.

4. Scoop a small spoonful of cooled blueberry compote into the center of each dough square.

blueberry-pastry-assemble

5. Brush the borders of each square with beaten egg or egg white.

6. Bake on a foil- or parchment-lined sheet at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until well-risen and deep golden brown.

blueberry-pastry-baked

7. Take the remaining 1/4 cup of jam and heat it in the microwave until loose and spreadable. Spread a small amount of jam over the blueberry section of each pastry. The unbaked jam will be shinier than the baked compote (the cornstarch dulls the sheen of the compote), and it’ll make your pastries look much prettier.

blueberry-pastry-jam

8. Once pastries are completely cool, dust generously with powdered sugar. Don’t worry about your blueberry centers– the moisture from the jam will dissolve the sugar and it’ll disappear into the center, leaving only the shiny jam showing.

 

 

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