Sweet puff pastries

Sweet puff pastries

Sfogliatine

By
From
Florentine
Makes
18–20 small pastries
Photographer
Lauren Bamford

Also known as borsettine because they look like little coin purses, sfogliatine are available in many Florentine pastry shops. What really makes these special are the crunchy, slightly burnt-caramel bottoms made from rolling the dough over raw sugar as you prepare the pastries. Some are filled simply with pastry cream but others also feature sliced apple, rice pudding (such as in rice pudding pastries), jam or even chocolate. You can also keep them flat, somewhat oval shaped and open-faced. Top with pastry cream and cover with thin slices of apple – delicious!

The process for making this homemade puff pastry is similar to the one for cornetti, but while cornetti dough is ‘turned’ three times, puff pastry is ‘turned’ six times.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250g plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
250g chilled unsalted butter
220g raw sugar
400g Pastry cream

Method

  1. Place the flour on a board and make a well in the centre of it. Add the salt and 150 ml water to the well and mix, slowly incorporating the flour around the water until you have a smooth dough. Let the dough rest in a bowl, covered, for 25 minutes.
  2. The butter block

    Take the butter out of the fridge and let it soften slightly for 30 minutes while the dough is resting. To make the ‘butter block’, place between two sheets of baking paper and bash it a little with a rolling pin to soften it and shape it into a square, about 12 cm wide.
  3. Roll the dough into a square, about 20 cm wide and about 1 cm thick. Place the square of butter in the centre of the square of dough at a 45 degree angle to the dough so that the corners of the dough can fold perfectly over the edges of the butter block, encasing it like an envelope. Pinch and seal the dough well. Let it rest for 10 minutes in the fridge, covered loosely with plastic wrap.
  4. The turns

    The next series of steps are known as ‘turns’ and consist of folding the rolled out dough into thirds, turning and rolling and folding again. If at any time it begins to get too difficult to roll the dough or the butter seems too soft, place the dough in the fridge and let chill, then try again. For the first pair of turns: roll the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured work surface to get a long rectangle (short side facing you), about 1.5 cm thick. Fold like a business letter into three: fold the top third down and the bottom third up. Give the dough a quarter turn (90 degrees to the right) and roll to a rectangle as before, i.e. 1.5 cm thickness. You may find it harder to roll this time. Fold again the same way into thirds. Let it rest in the fridge, covered loosely, for 15 minutes.
  5. Repeat another pair of turns and let rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, loosely covered. Repeat three more pairs of turns, letting the dough rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, covered loosely, after each fold. Altogether, you should perform six pairs of turns on the dough – this will ensure a flaky puff pastry.
  6. Shaping the sfogliatine

    Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep one portion covered in the fridge, and roll the other piece of dough out to a long rectangle of 2–3 mm thickness. Roll the rectangle on the short side to create a long log. Cut the log into cylinders 4–5 cm long.
  7. Dust the bench top very lightly with flour and sprinkle over a generous amount of raw (turbinado) sugar. Standing each cylinder of dough upright, flatten the dough over the raw sugar with the palm of your hand to create a disc. Lightly dust with flour and roll the disc over the raw sugar from the centre upwards and downwards to obtain an oval shape, approximately 1 mm thick, 8–9 cm wide (in the centre) and 16–18 cm long.
  8. Place 1 level tablespoon of pastry cream on the bottom half of the oval, brush the edges lightly with water with the tip of your finger and fold the top half of the pastry over the filling. Place the pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and continue working each piece of pastry in the same way until completed.
  9. Baking the sfogliatine

    Preheat the oven to 200°C. Let the pastries rest in the fridge for 30 minutes, loosely covered. Bake for 10–15 minutes until the sfogliatine are golden and puffed, and the bottoms have caramelised.

Note

  • Make sure you use a setting that distributes heat equally from the top and bottom of the oven – or make sure you have an oven that cooks well from the bottom to begin with! You may need to place these on a low shelf to make sure that they cook well from underneath; otherwise, you may risk undercooked pastry.

Note

  • These pastries freeze very well. Prepare up until the point of baking and freeze on the baking tray, covered in plastic wrap. When frozen, you can remove the pastries from the tray and store in airtight plastic bags or containers, layered between greaseproof paper. When ready to bake, place the frozen pastries directly from the freezer onto a baking tray and immediately into a hot oven (do not defrost). Bake for an extra 15–20 minutes.
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