Pascale’s Kitchen: Sweet & savory pastry dough treats

The following are three quick recipes for crispy, crumbly dishes made with pastry dough that are fun to eat when it’s hot outside.

 Cinnamon and sugar twists (photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Cinnamon and sugar twists
(photo credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been recommending in my column dishes that are light and cool, and that keep you far away from your hot oven.

I’ve provided you with recipes for luscious salads and savory fish dishes that don’t require much preparation time.

And yet, sometimes, even on hot summer evenings, I get in the mood for something sweet and crumbly – treats that can be made only in the oven. And so, this week, I decided to present a few recipes made with pastry dough for dishes that can be baked in a very short time

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The following are three quick recipes for crispy, crumbly dishes made with pastry dough that are fun to eat when it’s hot outside. In order to cut down on preparation time, use store-bought frozen pastry dough so that you can focus your energy on the fillings. 

Pastry dough is made from lots of thin layers of dough that were created by being rolled out over and over again. The dairy dough layers are held together with butter, and the parve ones with margarine. If prepared properly, they can be one of the highest-quality types of doughs used in baking.

 Mini plum tartlets (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Mini plum tartlets (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)

Pastry dough can be used for so many different dishes, so I recommend always keeping a package of it in the freezer. 

The dough itself does not have a strong taste, so it can be used to prepare both sweet and savory dishes. Some of the most popular sweet treats made with pastry dough are baklava, tarte Tatin and Napoleon cake, while savory treats include meat or cheese burekas. 

The following three recipes use pastry dough. The first one is mushroom and onion quiche that is made in a rectangular pan. I did not add cheese to the recipe, but if you are a cheese lover, cheese can be a nice addition to this dish. 

The second recipe is for mini plum tartlets that are easy to make and an absolute joy to eat. You can use any jam you have at home, or use pieces of marzipan. To take them up a level, you can prepare vanilla cream. 

The third recipe is for cinnamon sugar twists, which are truly bundles of warmth and love. Store them in a glass jar and display them proudly on the kitchen counter. 

Cinnamon and sugar twists

Whenever I prepare dishes with pastry dough, there are always leftover pieces. Instead of throwing them away, I use them to make a few cinnamon and sugar twists. Sometimes I use brown sugar instead of white.

I like to form fun, creative shapes, depending on the size and shape of the leftover pieces of dough. In this recipe, I’ve added chocolate hazelnut spread, which makes the cinnamon twists absolutely irresistible. Even I was amazed with the results. 

Makes 18-20 pieces.

  • 1 kg. butter pastry dough, rolled out

For spreading:

  • 1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, beaten

Open the package of pastry dough and cut out a piece that is 40 cm. wide. 

Spread the chocolate spread on half of the dough. Lift up the side without the chocolate, and fold it over on top of the chocolate half. Press down to secure, then use a rolling pin to flatten it a little. Press down to make sure the two layers are well connected. 

Using a pizza cutter, cut out strips that are 2 cm. wide (or smaller). 

Hold both ends of a strip, then twist in opposite directions to create a swirl. Place the swirl on the work surface, then curl it up into a snail shape. Do the same with all the dough strips. Arrange the swirls on a tray covered with baking paper. 

Brush the swirls with the beaten egg. Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 190° or 200° for 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely, then serve with hot or cold drink. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 30-40 minutesStatus: Dairy

Mini plum tartlets

Makes 20 tartlets.

  • 1 package pastry dough (400 gr.), rolled out
  • 1 cup jam, vanilla cream or marzipan cut into thin strips
  • 3-4 plums, pitted and sliced
  • 1 egg, beaten (optional)

Topping:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface and cut out rectangles that are 15 cm. or 20 cm. X 8 cm.

Place the rectangles on a pan that is lined with baking paper, with plenty of space between each one. Place a bit of jam, vanilla cream or marzipan in the center of each rectangle, leaving a margin of 1.5 cm. around the edges. Next, add a few slices of plum on top of the jam. Brush the exposed dough with a little beaten egg. 

Bake the tartlets in an oven that has been preheated to 200° for 15 minutes or until they have risen and turned golden. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 25 minutesStatus: Dairy

 Mushroom and onion quiche (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN) Mushroom and onion quiche (credit: PASCALE PEREZ-RUBIN)
Mushroom and onion quiche

Makes one rectangular pan.

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 medium onions or 3 large ones, sliced thinly
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 basket button mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp. cumin (optional)
  • 3-4 basil leaves
  • Leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary or thyme, chopped
  • 400 gr. pastry dough, rolled out

Toppings:

  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 2-3 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and sauté until they turn translucent. Add the garlic and mushroom and sauté until they’ve softened and browned. Season with salt, pepper and cumin and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down completely.

Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking pan and then lay down the rolled-out pastry dough. Press the dough down into the pan. Take any leftover dough and roll it into long strips. Then, coil the strips, which should be around 1 or 2 centimeters high, and secure them along the top edge of the pan so that all of the filling will remain inside of the pan. 

Pour the cooled mixture onto the dough and press it down into the dough. Sprinkle the basil and rosemary or thyme leaves on top. 

Brush the dough ridge with beaten egg and then sprinkle sesame seeds on top. 

Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 190-200° for 25-30 minutes until the quiche has firmed up. Serve hot. 

Level of difficulty: EasyTime: 30-40 minutesStatus: Dairy

Translated by Hannah Hochner.