Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Daily Special: Roasted Pumpkin Mascarpone Pastry Strip

Pumpkin (or butternut squash) is a frustrating ingredient for me, because as much as I love sweet things, I want them after dinner, not for dinner.  So while most people love things like pumpkin (or butternut squash) soup, I really don’t*. Today I thought I’d highlight my CSA sugar pumpkin’s sweetness rather than try to disguise it.

This is what I came up with.

Roasted Pumpkin Mascarpone Pastry Strip
 I'm calling it my Roasted Pumpkin Mascarpone Pastry Strip.

Want one of your very own?  Then read on.

Make (or buy) some puff pastry dough, roll it out to a size and shape that fits your cookware and intended serving platter, trim it and bake it blind.  The number of recipes for this on the internet may very well rival the number of “Look at Me! I’m So Awesome!” motorcycle wheelie youtube videos, so you really don’t need another one from me**.  “Rough Puff” is fine for this purpose, but if you are so inclined, go right ahead and make the classic version.  As the dough is resting peacefully in the fridge between “turns,” practice your flute.  Unless, of course, you are planning to ride to Baja later this month, in which case, leave the flute in its case and spend some time working out various details, gazing at maps, and consulting Captain Google.  (Can over-excitement induce a seizure?  Because if it can, I'm a high risk case right now.)

Prepare your pumpkin or squash slices.  Brush them with butter, sprinkle with sugar and roast them, but don’t let them get too brown.  Think about the timing of this step, because you really don’t want to heat up your kitchen right before you plan on working with your pastry.   I’d wait until the formed but unbaked pastry was safely in the fridge, if I were you.   But then again, I'm the one who attempts croissants when my kitchen is 95 degrees, so go ahead and do what you want.

Mix some mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese***) with a little bit of sugar and a leetle pinch of wintery spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger or… gasp! black pepper?) and gently spread it on your cooked and cooled pastry.  Top with the pumpkin slices, glaze with some barely warmed honey (or apricot preserves, or… caramel?) and sprinkle on some walnuts or pecans or hazelnuts.

Because you spend your money on motorcycles, rather than a wide selection of serving platters, take the cardboard box your most recent motorcycle accessory arrived in, cut it into the perfect shape, cover it with parchment paper, and serve your elegant pastry on this elegant platter.

I would absolutely make this again.  It was, quite simply, a knockout.

*Unless it’s full of roasted, smoky chiles, but, hey, that’s a different story. And pumpkin ravioli. They’re a different story, too, but I omit the traditional crushed amaretti cookie.  Because that would make them – yes – too sweet.
** I did offer a few tips in my croissant post, however.  Croissants slightly more complicated (they contain yeast) but the basics of working with butter pastry remain the same.
***Mascarpone is about five times more expensive.  And at least ten times more delicious.  Choose wisely, because once you try mascarpone, you will never go back.


redninja said...

OMG...that looks soooo good! (and, that's the first time I've EVER said, "OMG!"). If I was rich, I'd hire you to be my personal chef...and we could go riding when the cooking was finished.....

Eating On Two Wheels said...

Get rich quick, please.

redninja said...

OK, I'll try.....and I would pay you exorbitant sums!! I REALLY do not like cooking. Huh.

Eating On Two Wheels said...

I look forward to your success!