Have you ever had a vision in your head of what you wanted to create? Only to have a major flop! But the flavor was so incredible that you couldn't just walk away. Just like a dog with a bone, you weren't giving this thing up....you're bound and determined to make it work.
It all started with a pile of blueberries...an old newspaper clipping from the early 80's and a very stubborn woman in the kitchen (that would be me!)
The original recipe was for pastries called Four Corner Hats, filled with dried fruits and walnuts. I thought they were so cute and wanted to use my blueberries in them....with some cheese cake style filling instead of the dried fruits and nuts.
Star Spangled Pastries Printable Version
Thus in mind, I happily prepared the pastry:
Four Corner Hats Pastry
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest (original recipe called for orange zest)
2 tablespoons water
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugars. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add remaining ingredients and knead to form a dough. Divide into 3 portions. Flatten each to about 1/2 inch thickness. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. (I let mine chill over night).
The next morning, I prepared my filling:
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
3 tablespoons beaten egg
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients...not worrying about any minor lumps.
Easy- peasy so far.
Preheat the oven to 400'. Remove 1/3 of the dough from the fridge and quickly roll on heavily floured surface to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch circles. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in center.
Fold 4 "sides" of the circle up to partially cover the filling. Most of the filling should be visible. Pinch sides together at corners. Plop a few blueberries on top of the visible filling.
Place on a greased baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for about 12 minutes or just until golden.
And this is what you get......
Lovely little blueberry pastry pancakes. This is NOT what the picture in my head looked like. At all. Not even a little bit.
But the flavor....WOW. Ok...think....think...think.....what can I do?
Hmm...let's pre-bake the little pastries and then fill them with cream cheese and berries. Right?
Wrong!! I ended up with a pastry cookie (no picture provided...just imagine something resembling the above pancakes only not as colorful).
This is the point where you will find me walking in circles in my kitchen, occasionally opening a cupboard that I've opened a million times over the years...expecting the solution to jump right out. As if there's something in there that I'm not aware of.
Or that I have forgotten that I had....
RAMEKINS!!! Oh bless you! You sweet little ramekins. The answer to my prayers. Yes....ramekins!!
Have you ever been so excited about a set of ramekins? Ya, me neither.
And there you have it....Place a circle of pastry dough inside a greased ramekin
At first it doesn't look real pretty
But work it in and trim off the excess. I had the pastry lined up with the little rim inside the ramekin that's about 1/2 inch from the top. The pastry will rise while baking and you don't want a mess after all this work.
Drop some berries in the bottom
Add a couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese mix in there and top with some more berries
Oh...here's a tip....keep all dough that you are not currently working with, in the fridge. Also, after assembling each ramekin, stick it in the fridge until you have them all completed. This dough loses itself as soon as it starts to warm up.
I had a little extra dough left so I cut out cute little stars and placed one on top
I wasn't sure how high these little beauties would rise so I placed all of the ramekins on a baking sheet (to catch any spills). Because there was more filling in these than there was in the "Four Corner Hats", I turned the oven temp down to...
375' F, and baked for 23-25 minutes, until golden brown.
The pastry is soft and yummy and just sooo good! And of course, anything with cream cheese or that is cheese cake like is a winner in my book.
I served these on July 4th. I think they'd also be great for Labor Day or Memorial Day or just about anytime. Just change the fruit to match the occasion.
And...if you find you STILL have some dough left....
Make a cute little rustic free-form tartlet filled with only fruit. It just might be the first thing to disappear.
Soo...is there another reason you're hanging out with me? Was there something else you wanted to know?
Who the lucky winner is maybe? The lucky individual who gets to go on an $80 shopping spree at CSNstores.com?
First of all, I want to thank everyone for participating! I wish you all could've won! (Including me!!)
But since that couldn't happen, I had to write down all your names and place them in my lucky hat....or shall I say, my lucky margarita pitcher
mix it well, close my eyes and mix it some more...... and pull out a name
Drum roll please.....
(Que: confetti, balloons, music from Miss America pageant and flashing cameras) YEAH!!! Congrats girl!!! I'll be emailing you the Gift Certificate code :)
Note: Yes...I know it's suppose to be Star "Spangled" Pastry...but since this started out as a mess...I figured "Bangled" would be more apropo.