Last week I was elated to find fresh berries on sale at the market. You see, living in Phoenix berries can be a little hard to find. Forget locally grown, most weekends the local farmer’s market doesn’t have a single berry in sight. Many of the state’s berries come from California during peak season, and South America any other time (although I’ve heard berries can be found in northern Arizona). At most stores the berries, especially strawberries, are perfectly shaped, super-sized, and barely ripened. Makes you wonder what kind of crazy genetic engineering or other forms of modern agriculture is going on.
That’s why when I get my hands on some lovely fresh berries I want to incorporate them into a recipe that lets them shine (that is unless I’ve eaten them all up straight from the fridge). This recipe does just that.
Taste: The taste of the fresh berries is brightened by the buttery pastry and delicately sweet white chocolate sauce.
Texture: Flakey, rich, smooth, creamy, juicy.
Appearance: What is more beautiful than an assortment of bright berries on a summer day? Especially when they’re dripping with white chocolate sauce.
Ease: The sauce can be made ahead of time, leaving baking the pastry and assembling to do on the day of serving.
Pros: Perfect summer dessert.
Cons: None really.
Would I make this again? Yes.
White Chocolate & Berries Dessert Pastries
From Better Homes & Gardens
Note: for best results, use the highest quality chocolate and puff pastry you can find and afford. I like E. Guittard’s white chocolate baking wafers and Trader Joe’s all-butter puff pastry.
For white chocolate filling:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 4 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/2 of a 17.3 ounce package frozen puff pastry (1 sheet), thawed
- 2 cups fresh berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries
To make white chocolate filling:
Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and milk in a medium heavy saucepan. Cook and stir on medium heat until bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more, until thickened. Remove saucepan from heat. Gradually stir half of the milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper. Return egg yolk mixture back to saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more.
Remove saucepan from heat; add white chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Pour filling into a medium bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap. Chill for at least two hours, or up to 24 hours in the fridge (refrain from stirring during chilling).
To assemble pastry:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a lightly floured surface unfold the thawed puff pastry. Using a sharp knife, cut along creases; halve each strip crosswise to make a total of 6 rectangles. Transfer rectangles to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.
Split pastry rectangles in half horizontally. Place pastry bottoms on dessert plates. Spoon filling and berries over pastry bottoms. Top with pastry tops. If desired, cover and chill for up to 1 hour.