Recipe of the Week: Puff Pastry with chantilly cream, macerated berries

Puff pastry with Chantilly cream and macerated berries. Courtesy photo by Cody Fitchett

I was first shown this recipe by Paje Cross, my former Triplett Tech culinary teacher when we had a catering job for over 100 people. Since then, I have tweaked it and made it my own, but have also stayed true to what she taught me about it. I also have made this recipe on WHSV-TV in Harrisonburg during a noon news segment. I sure have impressed a lot of people with this recipe and I know you will too. As always, best wishes from my kitchen to yours.

Puff Pastry with chantilly cream, macerated berries

Level of difficulty:
Yield: 8 -10 Tarts

Puff Pastry
Puff pastry sheets – Purchase at the local grocery store
Chantilly cream
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 tbsp vanilla boxed pudding Mmix
Macerated berries
1 cup frozen triple berry mix
¼ cup granulated sugar

Puff Pastry
Let the sheets of puff pastry come to room temperature, around 30 minutes. Lightly flour a cutting board and lay out the sheets of dough evenly on it. Take a 2-inch round cookie cutter and cut two circles out of the dough. Take one of the circles and use a 1-inch cookie cutter and cut out the middle of the circle (so it looks like a tire).

Make an egg wash — one egg and 1 tsp. of water and whisk it like scrambled eggs. This acts like the glue of the dough.

Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the rim of the uncut circle and place the “tire” circle on top of it. Brush the top of the unbaked tart with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat until all the tarts are assembled.

Place on a parchment-papered cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes or until golden brown. When tarts are finished, take out of the oven and while they are still hot take a spoon and push down on the center to create a hole for the cream. Let cool on wire racks for 20 minutes.

Chantilly cream
Pour two cups of heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) and add in the 3 tbsp. of vanilla pudding mix and let it dissolve for about two to three minutes. Turn the mixer on medium speed and beat the cream for three to four minutes until it becomes smooth but not gritty or chunky. If that happens, don’t panic. I have a simple solution: add a little more heavy cream to smooth it out. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Macerated berries
Measure out one cup of mixed berries into a bowl and add ¼ cup of granulated sugar and mix thoroughly. Keep the berries at room temperature for at least one hour so the natural sugars of the berries come out and blend with the granulated sugar to create a mouth-watering vibrant syrup to pour over the tarts.

When the tarts have cooled, spoon in a generous amount of cream to fill the tart and top with the macerated berries.

Cody’s tips
For this recipe, I always buy frozen berries because for the garnish you will pour them over the tart. The water in the berries, when they thaw, mix with the sugar added and create a berry syrup. Also, I always let the pudding mix dissolve in the heavy cream, because if you don’t, the taste of the cream becomes gritty.