Friday, August 14, 2009

Julia, BIRTHDAY!, and Napkins

Like many of you, I am so looking forward to the new movie Julie & Julia. The resurgence of interest in Julia Child is evident on television programming. Our local PBS station, LPB out of Louisiana, has been running reruns of some of Julia's shows. I grabbed pen and paper when this one came on. I didn't catch the name of the lady with Julia in her kitchen...

Scandanavian Pastries

To start:

¼ cup warm water
1 package yeast

Dissolve yeast in water.
½ cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk together. Set aside.
2 ½ cups flour
2 sticks butter, chilled and cubed

Cut butter into flour until large pea size. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture. Stir flour into liquid just until mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Next morning...
Dust surface with flour and dust pastry with flour. Roll into a rectangle. Fold over in thirds. Pat. Dust top and bottom with flour. Roll into a rectangle. Fold over in thirds . Pat. Dust top and bottom with flour.

See those chunks of butter? That's the way it is supposed to look.

Once again, roll into rectangle. Fold by thirds into a square. Cut in half. Wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Or At this point you can freeze the dough. My question is WHY?!

Take half the dough…
Dust with flour. Roll out in a 10 x 20" rectangle. Roll slowly. Cut into 5" squares.

Put 1 heaping teaspoon (or more! I used a good tablespoonful) of filling in center.
Brush edges with beaten egg white. Pull up corners, pinch and twist together.
Cut through corners toward filling. Pull every other tip to the center. Looks like a pinwheel.

Pull two opposite corners to center.

Fold over in a triangle like a fried pie.

Brush all edges that meet with the egg white.

Place on parchment. Set 30 minutes to rise a bit. Brush with egg white. Sprinkle with pearl sugar. (Okay. They don't sell pearl sugar in Daingerfield. I found it online for nearly $5 a pound. So...I went to Brookshires looking for coarse sugar crystals. I found organic coarse sugar. That's what I bought. Never thought to go to the cake decorating section for those white sprinkles until after I had these in the oven.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Aren't they soooo gorgeous?! These are prune...

These are apricot...

These have been drizzled with glaze...

2-3 teaspoons water (recipe called for milk, but I had some glaze to sour one time ruining the bread pudding it covered)
½ cup powdered sugar
Whisk. Drizzle on pastries

These are plated and one is half eaten. OH MY GOODNESS! SOOOOO good.

My birthday is tomorrow! In 2000, Daddy and Mama gave me this set for my birthday. Daddy himself handed me the cup and saucer stating that they were from him. I placed them in my China cabinet (in previous house) to admire. He died the end of October. One day I was sitting in the living room watching some inane something on television, I'm sure. I looked up and spotted the cup and saucer. Couldn't take my eyes off them. Then thought, WHY NOT? I finally had a cup o' tea in the cup Daddy gave me. I had been so afraid that if I used the set, it would eventually be broken. What's the use of having something and not using it? Save it for the son or grandkids to sell in an estate sale? Not me. I'm using my pretty stuff!

Including these gorgeous napkins.
Martha over at has some beautiful vintage napkins. Mine aren't vintage and the napkin on the far left...the Battenburg lace doesn't show up. The other three are hand embroidered and hand finished. Mama was in the antique business for several years. Knowing that I use napkins on a daily basis, whenever she found some pretties, she purchased them then gave them to me.

As I mentioned, we use cloth napkins daily. They are about the only thing that I don't mind ironing. I have everyday napkins and special napkins. I have a set bandanas in assorted colors...they are great for barbeques! Except for the bbq napkins for obvious reasons, I do not gather up the napkins at the end of the meal to launder. Like Martha mentioned on her blog, we reuse them...not necessarily for a week, but for several meals. I try to be observant in case someone wipes sorry...nose on their napkin...then that one is removed and replaced before the next meal. After a meal, the napkins are folded and left on the placemat. (I want to make certain I use MY napkin not one I overlooked handling the nose-wipe...)

Since my table seats 8 easily, most of my napkins are in sets of 8 or more. Two of the sets that Mama gave me have a dozen napkins. REALLY, nice!

OH! Almost forgot the filling recipes!

Apricot Filling
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup water
Stir. Microwave 10 minutes. Stir 2 or 3 times.
Cool a bit. Puree in food processor.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon almond extract
Stir. Refrigerate.
Prune Filling
1 cup sugar
1 cup dried prunes
1 cup water.
Stir. Microwave 10 minutes. Stir 2 or 3 times. Cool a bit. Puree in food processor.
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir. Refrigerate.
Pastry Cream
1 cup cream
1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
2-3 tablespoons sugar
Whisk. Microwave 1 minute at a time. Stir each minute until thick. About 2 – 3 minutes.

1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix together.

Temper egg yolk with hot cream mixture. Stir egg yolk into cream. Microwave 30 seconds.

I did not make the cream filling. Sam just wanted fruit. The cream is used to top the fruit...not for a stand alone filling.

The other half of the dough? She made this:

Berry Braid
2 cups crushed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
1 cup sugar
Microwave 18 minutes. Cool and add
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Take remaining pasty half. Dust with flour and roll out to 10 x 16" rectangle. Cut strip 1/3 into dough ¾" apart. Spread Berry jam down the middle. Top with cream filling. Brush fringe with beaten egg white. Cross fringe over middle like a braid. Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.


Kar said...

You have been busy! You're making me tired just reading about everything! :) The pastries look yummy. I will wait till fall before I do anything that adventurous though. And the quilt is looking nice! You will have to show it off when you are done. :)

I think Sam is a keeper too. He sounds so nice. Not worth even thinking about trying to find someone else to get along with! LOL!!!!

Have a great weekend dear!


elsie123 said...

My goodness, you're ambitious with all of the cooking! Looks yummy though. And happy birthday! I don't know about you, but I always like to see them keep on coming.

Going to see Julie and Julia tomorrow, I've been looking forward to it all week.

Enjoy your b'day!

Shogun said...

I can't believe you were able to write that all down while watching the show. They look delicious. It looks similar, at a glance, to something we make now and then. A dough that is filled with goodies, shaped, and baked. They are delicious. We also want to see that movie. The teacup is just beautiful and I am glad you used it. Better to enjoy it and have it break (possibly) than to just admire it and have it break or get sold years from now. Happy Birthday!!