When I first started cooking I began listening to the advice of the pro chefs. There’s a general disdain for products like pie crusts or processed cheese. I made my own pastry crusts, my own chicken broth, and tried to make everything from scratch. Naturally this led to several #foodiefails .
One day while watching Jacques Pepin’s cooking show on TV, I saw that he was using Sara Lee pound cake from the freezer section. He was cooking with his granddaughter. They made a lovely fruit compote from scratch to go with it. Since then I’ve questioned my prejudice toward more convenient options, especially when you’re just getting started in your cooking journey.
I will never shut up about how amazing recipes with less than 10 ingredients are for beginners. There’s less prep, fewer preps, and lower cost. Everything about these recipes is easier, and often you don’t sacrifice flavor. Puff pastry is available in the frozen food aisle. It is incredibly difficult and time consuming to make from scratch. On a particularly productive Sunday morning, I bought some pre-prepared puff pastry for these strawberry breakfast pastries. It’s almost like making homemade toaster strudels.
- 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
- 1/4 cup cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp strawberry jam
- 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 large egg
- powdered sugar (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silipat (re-usable silicon baking covers for pans).
2. Cut the puff pastry into 6 rectangles by following the folds in the dough. First, cut the sheet into 3 long rectangles, then cut each rectangle in half.
3. Transfer the pastries to the baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
4. Lightly score a 1/2 inch border around the edge of the dough. Prick the center of the pastry with a fork.
Scoring means lightly marking the dough with a knife.
5. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese and strawberry jam. Place a dollop of the cream cheese mixture in the centers of the pastry and spread it. Top with slices of strawberry.
Make sure your cream cheese is close to room temperature or else the cream cheese and jam will not mix easily and consistently.
6. Whisk together the egg with 1 Tbsp of water. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until golden and puffed.
I think it might be easier to put on the egg wash before the cream cheese. Also, I didn’t use all of the egg wash.
7. Remove the pastries from the oven. Dust with powdered sugar over the pastries if desired.
The best way to deal with powdered sugar is to use a sieve. Pour it in, then lightly tap the sieve over the pastry. It spreads a light layer with less mess.
Final Thoughts: These were a lovely sweet treat that I would consider serving for brunch or breakfast with friends or family. The best part is they look so fancy! They may not taste like the most incredible pastry in the world, but I was still impressed with the results. I would recommend these be eaten within a few hours of being baked.