Strawberry and Orange Cream Pastry

Strawberry Pastries with Orange Cream Filling

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The easy magic of puff pastry is the base for these light and delicious treats, filled with a bright orange flavored cream cheese, then topped with freshly sliced strawberries. Perfect for Mother’s Day brunch! Quick, easy, impressive, and most importantly, delicious!

Thaw two sheets of puff pastry according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400°. Roll puff pastry out to approximately 18″ x 12″; cut out six 4.5″-5″ rounds and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Roll out the second sheet of puff pastry and cut out another six rounds, then use a smaller cutter to cut out the middle, leaving the outer rings of pastry. Brush the pastry rounds with an egg wash; lay the pastry rings on top, matching the edges, then brush with an egg wash. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Make the filling by mixing together cream cheese, heavy cream, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Stir in orange zest. To assemble, divide the orange filling between the six pastries, top with a sliced fresh strawberry, dust with icing sugar.

– Mix up the flavor pairings – some ideas are raspberry with a lemon filling; strawberries with a chocolate filling; peaches with a cinnamon filling; cherries with an almond filling. Get creative!
– Make them savory – smoked salmon on top of “everything bagel” seasoned cream cheese; or sauteed mushrooms on top of garlic & chive filling.

Sorry … I’ve got nothing to offer here … this is as simple as it gets!

Nothing says spring is here quite like seeing the fresh, juicy, bright red strawberries showing up in the grocery stores. Now, I’m not talking about the winter strawberries that have been flowing in from some far-away destination, and look tempting, but are just disappointing and end up slowly getting pushed back in the fridge and every once in a while you look at them and wish they were tastier, and think that you really should do something with them, but they’re so uninspiring that you close the fridge and plan to think about it later, and then later when you see them again, they’re even worse, so you just toss them in the compost, and feel guilty for wasting food and money.

No, those are not the strawberries I’m talking about. I’m talking about the ones that are juicy and popping with sweetness, and every bite is a delight. That’s what I’m talking about. Those are the ones that herald the arrival of spring.

Here in the US, Mother’s Day is celebrated in early May, so the timing of incorporating some of the bright red strawberries into a Mother’s Day brunch is perfect. And these crispy and light pastries are a perfect way to show Mom how much you care. They’re also perfect to have your little helper make with you. They can easily help with every step along the way, except for the baking. But every other step is very child-friendly.

Puff pastry is also incredibly forgiving as long as you remember a couple of things:

  • Thaw according to the package instructions, and don’t let the dough get too warm. Once it’s thawed, if you’re not going to use it right away, put it in the fridge.
  • Only roll the dough out once. This isn’t a dough you can re-knead and then re-roll without significant sacrifice to the puffiness of the final product.
  • Similar to the first point – preheat your oven, and work relatively quickly with the dough so the butter in it doesn’t get too warm. The “puff” of puff pastry happens when the cold butter in the dough is quickly heated in a hot oven. If the butter isn’t cold, you won’t get much of a puff.
  • A sprinkle of icing sugar at the end will hide a lot of flaws, so don’t stress out about trying to making things look perfect going into the oven, they’ll likely come out looking amazing, and even if they don’t, they’ll still taste amazing.

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