What’s more delicate than puff pastry? All those layers carefully folded one on top of the other and baked in the space of a second to create complicated and frail structures of pastry… The same as butterflies – beautiful, gorgeously coloured winged insects whose lifespan rarely reaches a full week and whose delicacy and frailty has inspired so many writers. So what better combination than to create butterflies made of puff pastry?
The idea behind this recipe comes from the same book I quoted in my last post, Bollería by Xavier Barriga. He makes them plain and suggests to dunk them in chocolate when cooled. Why, may I ask, not fill them with something sweet? These are, with all due respect, palmiers sliced in half and, as such, desperately need to be filled. I opted for homemade marmalade that my grandma gave me last time I was home. The orange jam was the last one of the small pots of homemade sweetness I had, so now I am back to square one… Anyway, to offset the slight tartness of marmalade I opted for some white chocolate on top, complemented by some orange and lemon zest, just to add a tad of colour and to give you a quick reminder of what’s inside. You can fill them with whatever you want, mine is just a suggestion.
- 500g plain flour
- 10g salt
- 275g icy cold water
- 375g unsalted butter, chilled
- golden caster sugar, to sprinkle
- 100g marmalade
- 25g white chocolate, melted
- 1/2 orange, zest of
- 1 lemon, zest of
- Make your puff pastry by combining the flour, salt and water together until you get a soft dough, then wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for at least 1 hour.
- Beat the butter into submission as indicated in the previous recipe, then shape it into a square roughly 15cm per side. Keep it chilled. Ideally, you want your butter and your dough to be at the same temperature.
- Once your dough has been thoroughly chilled, take it out from the fridge and put it on a floured surface. Now you have two ways of doing this. Personally, I cut a cross on top and stretch the wedges outwards to create ear-like shapes. I then use a rolling pin to stretch these but leave the dough a bit higher – that is, non rolled out – where the bases of the ‘ears’ meet. I then put the cold butter slab on top of this small bulge and fold the dough ears on top. Then, I flip the dough the other way round and start rolling. Alternatively, you can roll your dough into a rectangle and do it as indicated in the previous post. The end result is the same, so it’s really up to you.
- Roll and fold your pastry for a total of 4 times, allowing plenty of chilling times after each 2.
- Once your pastry has been properly chilled, dust your working surface with plenty of golden caster sugar, then roll it out to a rectangle roughly 30 by 60cm. Trim the edges with a sharp knife, then spread the marmalade in an even layer on top of the pastry rectangle, leaving approximately 1 cm from all of the edges.
- Start rolling your palmier. Roll each side equally towards the centre, then when you get to the point where the two rolls meet, fold one on top of the other. Warp it in clingfilm and chill your ‘roll’ for one hour.
- Closer to the end of the chilling time, pre-heat your oven to 220C and line three baking trays with parchment.
- Take your pithivier out of the fridge, then use a very sharp knife to cut even 1cm slices. Cut each slice into halves but ensuring the cut doesn’t go all the way through and leaves a ‘joint’ on the closed side of the slice. To be clearer, keep the two ridges facing you while you cut the slice.
- Arrange the butterflies-to-be on the trays leaving plenty of space in between them as they will increase in volume. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C and bake for a further 13 minutes, until a golden colour and thoroughly baked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, then use a piping bag to drizzle with the melted white chocolate and arrange the orange and lemon zest on top.