After a simple dinner of grilled filet mignon and an herb salad, an equally simple but grown-up dessert seemed just the thing to close the Memorial Day weekend on a sweet note. All day, I’ve thought about the wonderful men and women who, because of their courage and dedication, have allowed me the privilege to enjoy beautiful days like today that are free of the dangers they must endure. My daily activities seem so frivolous in comparison. Using my tiny space on the web I’d like to take this second to honor these brave individuals for I don’t think they get nearly the amount of recognition they deserve.
As for the dessert, I put this together quickly with everything I had in the kitchen, including the fresh blueberries that were calling my name. Upon taking a bite my husband exclaimed, “This is spectacular!” and proceeded to devour a second helping. I’m not sure if it was the Cointreau talking but when I finally had a taste I, too, was pleased with this impromptu dessert.
The frozen puff pastry made this extremely easy to prepare. I even took the extra-lazy route by using the pre-cut rounds. They were a great vessel for the vanilla-infused mascarpone and fresh blueberries macerated with a little sugar and Cointreau–a French orange liqueur. The crust was buttery and flaky, the mascarpone was slightly sweet from the honey I added and the blueberries retained their freshness, their fruitiness heightened by the orange liqueur. I’ve already decided that this would be perfect to serve to company. Next time, I might improve on the presentation (and the portion size) by splitting the puff pastry in two and creating double layers of mascarpone, blueberries and puff pastry.
Puff Pastry with Whipped Mascarpone and Cointreau Blueberries
Makes four servings
- 4 servings Pepperidge Farm frozen puff pastry rounds
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons half-and-half
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Cointreau
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Egg wash (one egg mixed with one tablespoon of water)
To macerate the blueberries, combine them with the Cointreau, the sugar and the lemon juice and store in the refrigerator for about an hour.
Using a hand mixer, whip the mascarpone with the vanilla extract, milk and honey in a medium bowl. A couple of minutes on medium speed should be enough to mix the ingredients evenly. Set aside.
About thirty minutes before you plan to serve dessert, put the frozen puff pastry rounds in the oven. The box will have clear instructions but allow for time to preheat your oven. Also remember not to defrost the pastry rounds beforehand–it’s not necessary. I brushed the rounds with an egg wash before baking.
With all three components ready, prepare as pictured or create a double layer of mascarpone-blueberry-puff pastry as I plan to do next time. Enjoy!