I love pastries, I mean LOVE them… I think they were the hardest thing for me to say goodbye to when we went grain-free. It’s still hard to find that crispy + flaky gluten-filled crust texture in gluten-free baked goods, but I have come pretty darn close with this puff pastry.
This recipe was a bit tricky at first and I was concerned to waste nine tablespoons of precious butter, but I took the chance and it paid off!
There is a bit of technique behind this pastry dough, but the ingredients are simple and once you've made it, it's simple to make again. I cut heart shapes with a standard cookie cutter I found at Sur la Table, filled them with jam, topped the first heart with another heart and pinched the edges shut using a fork. This resulted in a delicate puff pastry filled with jam. It is dainty and perfect for Valentine's Day. This same pastry can be used for tarts and pies and other recipes that use a pastry crust.
9 tablespoons butter, cold, or palm shortening for those following specific dairy-free diets
1 ½ cup cassava flour(I use Otto's Naturals)
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ice water
½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Mix 1 cup cassava flour and salt on a clean work surface; I like to use a marble cutting board because it will keep the butter cold while I work it into the flour.
Add the 9 tablespoons of frozen butter to the flour and salt, slowly folding and pressing it together repeatedly; this process is how the dough becomes flaky during baking.
After a few minutes of mixing the flour and butter together add the water and vinegar and keep mixing by hand. Work until it can be rolled with a rolling pin, the dough will be sticky.
Once the dough is at this stage you are ready to flour the cutting board and rolling pin, then roll the dough into a long rectangle.
Fold the rectangle into the center line and make the ends meet for the first 8'ish folds. After that you should be able to fold the dough to the center line as normal, then fold once more, folding them together along the center line. This folding process gives puff pastry that airy flaky texture.
Apply more flour between roll out, repeat the folding process until the dough is no longer sticky.
The dough should fold together and be pliable. It takes roughly 15 folds to get the texture right.
Refrigerate for 20 minutes, then it’s ready to use.
*Note-Conventional pastry puff can be frozen or refrigerated for longer periods, but I have found with this dough it can become fragile if it becomes too cold. Do not blend this dough with a mixer or food processor it will not have the same texture at the end. I like to use an egg wash whenever I use it to add that crisp texture to whatever I am making.
For Jam filled heart Pastries:
Roll chilled dough out to a ¼ inch thickness.
Cut out whatever shape you desire using a cookie cutter.
Fill with 1 teaspoon jam and top with another cut out of the same shape. Don't over fill with jam or the hearts will crack and burst which will lead to a broken heart.
Crimp the edges with a fork and brush with egg wash.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 400°F.
Place on a cooling rack until cool to the touch. Enjoy!