These pastries are about to make your New Years hangover a lot better. Do you want bakery level cheese pastries with apricot glaze hot out of the oven with minimal work in the morning? Yeah, I thought so. You could make these with store brought puff pastry but this rough puff is really simple, and probably more delicious than the boxed puff pastry anyway!
There’s a lot of stopping points in this recipe that make it perfect for make-ahead-bake-when-you-feel-lots-of-regret. The puff pastry can be made a few days in advance if refrigerating, or up to one month if freezing. You can also assemble the pastries up to right before baking and place them in the fridge over night. Then, when you wake up, just toss them in the oven, glaze them, and bam!
Rough Puff Pastry vs. Traditional Puff Pastry
Puff pastry gets its personality from the hundreds of layers of butter that are worked into the dough. These teeny tiny layers of butter result in steam when placed in the hot oven, giving your pastry the lift it needs before crisping up. According to Julia Child, puff pastry has 729 layers once all’s said and done. The resulting dough is amazing but takes quite a bit of time and effort…
The biggest difference between this rough puff pastry and traditional puff pastry is how the butter is laminated into the dough. Traditional puff pastry requires you to envelop a slab of cold butter with dough. The dough is then folded and rolled with chilled rest periods between rolls. This takes a long time. With rough puff, the butter is cut into the flour – like a pie dough – and then fold without chilling between rolls. This results in a puffy, flaky result that mimics puff pastry pretty well.
Apricot Cheese Pastries
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp butter, unsalted, cold
- 1/3 cup water, ice cold
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp apricot preserves
- 1-2 tsp water
- Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter in the flour and salt until the pieces of butter are around pea sized, slightly larger is also fine.
- Make a well in the mixture. Pour all the water into the center and stir until the flour is hydrated.
- Dump the flour mixture onto the dough onto a floured countertop. Pat the dough into a square/rectangle and roll to about 10" long by 6" wide. You should only need to roll in one direction as you are just trying to form layers, not a specific size.
- Fold the bottom third of the dough up onto the dough like a letter. Then fold the top third onto the bottom third you just folded up. Rotate the dough 90° to the left and repeat the rolling and folding.
- Repeat the rotating, rolling, and folding five more times for a total of seven folds.
- Chill dough for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cream all the filling ingredients together until smooth while the dough chills.
- Roll the dough out to a 12" square. Divide the dough into 9 squares for large pastries, or 18 squares for smaller pastries. Place a spoonful of the cheese filling into the middle of the dough. Transfer to baking sheets.
- Brush the edges of each pastry with an egg wash if you want them nice and brown. Bake for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375°F. Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 more minutes.
- Combine the water and apricot preserves together. When the pastries come out, immediately brush them with the glaze. Enjoy your warm pastries.