Asparagus Puff Pastry

Asparagus Puff Pastry w/ Hollandaise Sauce - Bruno Albouze - THE REAL DEAL

Asparagus Puff Pastry Recipe
Here is an elegant and delicious Entree served with asparagus cream and the traditional Hollandaise sauce.

Serves 6.
2 bunches jumbo asparagus* ≈ 2 lb (900g), peeled, trimmed and par-boiled. (Save bottoms and peelings for stock and cream).
*Be sure to begin with fresh asparagus. Look for firm spears with ends that aren't too dried out and tight, compact heads.

Par-Boiling Asparagus
Bring to boil about 2qt (2L) of water and add 2 teaspoons of salt. Plunge in the prepared asparagus, bring back to boil and cook for 4 minutes on low simmer. Carefully, transfer asparagus in ice water. Drain on paper towels.

Asparagus Stock
In a sauce pan, add asparagus bottoms and peelings and cover with water. Let simmer for 30 minutes; covered. Strain and set aside. The stock can be used for other purposes such as risotto, soups, cooking pasta…

6 ea. puff pastry 3.5inch (9cm) squares.
For the inverted puff pastry demo watch the Apple Turnovers Video.

Asparagus Cream
1 Tbsp (15g) unsalted butter
2 ea. shallots, chopped
1.5 cups (200g) asparagus trimmings (from the second cut)
2/3 cup (150ml) asparagus stock
1.6 cup (400ml) heavy cream
A few Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a hot frying pan, melt butter and sweat shallots for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Then, throw in asparagus trimmings (from the second cuts/a few asparagus heads can be added too) and continue to cook for 3 minutes more. Add asparagus stock and cream. Bring to boil and blend with parsley leaves. Pass through a sieve and cook to thicken it up for about 15 minutes on low heat. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Hollandaise Sauce
3 ea. (60g) egg yolks
1 Tbsp (15ml) water
1.5 sticks (150g) unsalted butter, clarified
1/2 Tbsp (7.5ml) Vermouth, Chardonnay, or lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste.

Clarified Butter
Melt butter on low heat. As soon as butter is liquified, turn off the heat. Avoid boiling it; it will get cloudy. Do not shake nor stir. Grab the milk solids that rises on the surface with a small laddle and discard. Then, slowy transfer butter into another container leaving remaining milk on the bottom of the pan (décanter in French). Clarified butter can be stored months in the refrigerator.

For The Sauce
Place a stainless steel bowl over a saucepan containing a couple of inches of barely simmering water, the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the egg yolks and water together and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume; it should reach 150ºF (65ºC). Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Turn off the flame. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, whisk in the Vermouth, Chardonnay or lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of cayenne if desired. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use. The Hollandaise sauce can’t be stored in the refrigerator; make it and use it the same day.

Asparagus Puff Pastry Assembly
Puff pastry squares
Par-boiled asparagus
Asparagus cream and Hollandaise sauce
Parmigiano shavings (optional)
Italian parsley leaves or baby arugulas
Fleur-de-sel, ground black pepper.

To give the asparagus a glossy finish – In a hot pan, sauté asparagus with some butter or olive oil for 1 minutes on high heat. Or, plunge them in boiling water for a few seconds or give a quick steam and luster with melted clarified butter or olive oil.
Plating for one serving: arrange 3 hot asparagus, spoon in the asparagus cream. Place warm pastry on the top of the asparagus and add the warm hollandaise sauce. Garnish with parmigiano shavings and parsley leaves. Sprinkle some fleur-de-sel – Enjoy!

Inverted Puff Pastry Recipe
Traditional puff pastry requires enclosing butter in dough. In the inverted puff pastry the butter encloses the dough. One thing for sure is that inverted puff pastry bakes rather light and produces very flaky results and the ideal choice for filled applications such as apple turnovers and galettes, it stands up really well to the steam produced from the filling and therefore leaves virtually no traces of under baked dough. Puff pastry should be handled in a cool kitchen; below 70ºF (21ºC). Puff pastry freezes very well. Making your own is definitely something worth mastering. The best way to handle it is to make beurre manié and dough on day1. The foldings on day2 and the baking day3.

Inverted Puff Pastry
Makes ≈ 18 Servings.

Beurre manié
0.9 lb. (400g) unsalted European style butter* softened
1.1 cups (175g) all-purpose flour.

*European style butter (EB) has more fat, less water. It contains 84 to 86% fat content and it really makes a difference in laminated doughs such as puff pastry. It makes things flakier and tastier.

Dough / Détrempe
0.6 cup (150ml) cold water
1 tsp (5ml) white vinegar (optional but it prevents dough discoloration)
1 Tbsp (15g) salt
1 stick (110g) unsalted butter, melted but at room temp
1.2 cups (175g) all-purpose flour
1.2 cups (175g) bread flour.

Inverted Puff Pastry Method
For the beurre manié, in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the softened butter with flours until well combined. Roll beurre manié into a large rectangle ≈ 1/2-inch (1.3cm) thick) between two parchment papers and refrigerate until it has completely hardened.

For the dough, mix all ingredients together until just combined. Flatten dough into a square inside a large freezer bag and refrigerate completely. Both, beurre manié and dough can be made a day ahead.

Folding Process / Tourage (One single turn + one double + one single + one double).
Remove beurre manié and dough from the refrigerator. Flatten the dough to match with the size of the butter slab. Brush off any excess flour from the dough and place it in contact with the beurre manié. Flour work surface generously. Gently tap the to seal the dough and butter together and roll out into a 20inch (50cm) rectangle. Brush off any excess flour and fold into thirds (single turn/tour simple) then, flatten into a 8x11inch (20x28cm) rectangle, wrap up and chill for an hour to rest. Flour work surface lightly and roll out dough (keep the key on the right side) into a 28inch (72cm) rectangle. Fold in four (double turn/tour double). Wrap up and refrigerate an hour to rest. Repeat these 2 steps; one single and one double turn and store puff pastry in the refrigerator for up to 4 days for freeze for weeks.

During resting, gluten relaxes and become elastic again, making rolling easier and preventing the pastry from shrinking and becoming misshapen during baking. The inverted puff pastry is known to be more stable than the traditional one.

Egg wash
2 egg yolks mixed with a few drops of water. Or, 1 whole egg and 2 yolks beaten with a pinch of salt.

Puff Pastry for Asparagus
Flour lightly your work surface. Divide puff pastry in two pieces. Refrigerate the other half or freeze for later use. Roll out dough into a 12inch (30cm) square ≈ 0.2inch (5mm) thick. Move the pastry around, lifting a little with your fingers under the sides to relax it. Do this often to prevent sticking. Chill if necessary before cutting. Divide dough into nine 3.5inch (9cm) squares. Save 6 pastries for the recipe and freeze leftovers for later use. Transfer pastries onto a wet silicone mat to prevent from moving. Brush with egg wash and chill for 30 minutes to rest. Brush with egg wash again and score with the tip and back of a pairing knife. Chill again until ready to bake or freeze for later use.

Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC). To make your puff pastry squares perfectly even, place two ≈ 1.25inch (3.2cm) high English muffin rings on the baking tray and top with an upsidedown cooling rack. Put pastry in the oven and lower temperature to 325ºF (160ºC) and bake for 40 minutes more. If using a convection oven the baking time may be shortened by 5 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use. Enjoy!

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