Ever look at the ingredient list in a store bought pastry? You might see a paragraph long list of chemicals, oils, and sugars that you do not understand. Next time you want to have some pastry for your weekend brunch, try my Puff Pastry with Mascarpone Cheese, Figs, and Almonds. I have to admit I don’t have the time to make my own puff pastry, but after finding an organic brand at Whole Foods, I decided to get creative. I used the flavors of the Middle East: figs and almonds and honey, and they turned out great–buttery, slightly sweet, with the surprising rich flavor of figs. You won’t find figs and pastry together in the supermarket, so this unique twist will be sure to delight your guests (that is, if they enjoy figs as much as I do!) If you have leftover mascarpone and fig jam, you can serve that in bowls as a parfait the next day with any combination of nuts–nothing should go to waste! 🙂
1 sheet puff pastry (11 by 8 inches)
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey, divided in half
1 cup of sliced figs
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Thaw out pastry, and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a knife, cut into 8 square sections. Flatten the center of each square slightly, leaving a 1 inch rim. Then, using a fork, pierce the dough in the center several times.
Take sliced figs and 1/4 cup honey, and place in a sauce pan, stirring over medium heat until it boils, then set aside.
Place the mascarpone, egg, 1/4 cup honey, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk to blend.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Spread 1 tbs of the the mascarpone mixture in the center of each puff pastry square. Then place 1 tbs of fig jam over the mascarpone. Bake until the crust and filling are golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Top with slivered almonds.