The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat Vols-au-Vent based on the puff pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.
Well, it's a bit late, but better than never, right??? With my move last weekend and me not cooking at Grey Gardens, it took a bit longer for me to get to last month's Daring Bakers challenge. I am so glad I finally made it! Puff pastry has always been one of those things that I have been scared to try and not afraid to buy at the store for convenience. When I saw that the September challenge was puff pastry and more specifically vols-au-vent, I planned on making my filling the fig, blue cheese, and bacon combo I did for the tart last week...and then life got away from me. Even though I am not fully unpacked, I am definitely way more settled in to my new apartment than I ever was in Grey Gardens. Despite my teeny, tiny kitchen, I am finding ways to make things work and really loving spending my weekends cooking again.
After a great workout with Erin at Equinox, I was more ready to attack something buttery. Honestly though, for how much pastry this recipe makes, it really doesn't use that much butter. I halved the recipe knowing I would have a lot of pastry left over and I was right. After carefully measuring the ingredients and doing my first two turns, I thought to myself "this is easy and actually kind of fun". All in all, this was a fun recipe to make and not as difficult as I thought it would be. The key to making puff pastry is to have a lot of patience because most of the time you aren't doing anything. Watch part of a movie, do some dishes, clean your bathroom because you will have time for all of those things and then some.
My vols-au-vent came out a little crooked, but I didn't mind. I filled them simply with some Greek yogurt from Stoneyfield. I sweetened the plain yogurt with a bit of agave and left the blueberry yogurt alone. Topping them off with a few pomegranate arils was a crunchy, tart way to finish these off. I only made a few vols-au-vent and devoured them all in one sitting. The only problems I ran into were a bit of butter being exposed during the turns and the pastry rising crookedly. I like to think it adds character. I had a lot of fun with this and can't wait to come up with delicious ways to use up the leftover puff pastry.
To get the puff pastry recipe, please visit our gracious host, and to see how the other Daring Bakers did, click here.