Wake up early one morning and one’s love (who is normally just a salt person) requests a breakfast sweet, there are three main options: Feign early morning incomprehension. Go out and buy something. Make a breakfast pastry for the love of your life.
A baking bad-ass with an affinity for spoiling those he loves only has one choice that won’t haunt the recesses of his heart and soul; fire the oven and bake up a flaky delight.
The fridge hadn’t been resupplied for a few days, but there were still enough basic supplies hanging around the kitchen to make something up. Fresh berries. Milk. Eggs. Sugar. Some homemade puff pastry dough in the freezer (doesn’t everyone have that stocked in the icebox? Baking bad-ass!). Yeah, there was something to work with here.
Using the puff pastry as a base, some pastry cream would be quick to make, combine it all together to be enraptured by the fresh berries, and bake. Easy. The “proof” setting on the oven would speed up the thawing of the frozen puff pastry dough to about 15 minutes so it wouldn’t take long too get things underway. The only thing left to be decided was the form of the pastry.
Turning to the household baking Bible, The Professional Pastry Chef, a few flips of the pages brought up Bo’s cherry crossovers. A cherry filling wrapped in puff pastry with enticing slits allowing its sweet center to peak through. What a perfect way to package the fresh berries! Soon the sweet scent of puff pastry and strawberries baking filled the morning kitchen air, arousing the dogs and mingling with the aroma of the daily cappuccinos.
Does it even need to be said that the end result was heavenly? Flaky, buttery puff pastry combined with smooth, slightly sweet pastry cream, all serving as a backdrop to the sweet, slightly tangy, tartness of the strawberries. Someone was a very lucky girl.
Wrap the dough around the dowel, slice the strips, and transfer to baking sheet
Pipe and spread pastry cream, fill with berries, and cross
After crossing, press with dowel to seal, and brush with egg wash
Berry Crossover Recipe
Yield: 6-8 Pastries
Cook Time: 35 Min.
Inspired by Bo Friberg's Cherry Crossover in The Professional Pastry Chef.
Berry Crossover Ingredients
- 1 lb (455 g) Puff Pastry, if dough is frozen allow to thaw to a workable
- 1 lb (455 g) Fresh Berries, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 c Pastry Cream (recipe follows)
- Egg Wash (1 egg white mixed w/ 1 tbsp. water)
- Powdered Sugar (optional)
- 3/4" dowel needed for cutting strips for crossovers
Pastry Cream Ingredients
- 1c (240 ml) Milk
- 2 T (15 g) Cornstarch
- 4 T (60 g) Granulated Sugar
- pinch of Sea Salt
- 1 lrg Egg
- 1/4 t (1 ml) Vanilla Extract
preheat oven to 375°F
Berry Crossover Directions
- Keeping the puff pastry dough lightly dusted with flour, roll out to 1/8" thick, a bit over 7" wide and how ever long you have room to roll (roll separate chunks of dough if needed, keeping the second dough in the fridge until ready to roll). Trim the edges of the dough to form straight edges.
- Cut the dough into approx. 4" lengths. Fold a piece of dough around the dowel so that the 4" length runs down the dowel and the 7" width wraps around it. Make sure top flap of dough tucks in close to the dowel and is laying flat on top of the bottom section of dough.
- Cut strips 1/4 - 1/2" wide along the length of the dough. Wider strips are easier to handle, but the strip width is mostly a visual choice. Be sure to slice all the way through the bottom layer.
- Using the dowel, transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. Lay out flat and continue slicing strips for the rest of the pastry sections.
- Put pastry cream in a pastry bag with a 1/2" plain tip, or put pastry cream in a plastic sandwich bag and cut one corner to pipe out of. Pipe a line of pastry cream down the center, the length of each section of dough. Spread it a little to flatten the pastry cream. Place a hearty layer of berries on top of pastry cream.
- With the right hand, bring the right strip closest to you across the berries. With the left hand cross the left-hand strip across the first strip. Continue this alternating left and right, making sure each strip is overlapping the previous opposite side to help lock it in. Do this down the length of each pastry and for all of the pastries.
- With the dowel, press down a little going the length of each pastry to help seal and lock the strips together. Brush with egg wash.
- Double pan your baking pan then bake for 35 min. or until golden. If necessary a sheet of parchment paper can be draped over the top of the crossovers if the tops are cooking faster than the rest of pastry.
- Allow to cool, dust with powdered sugar if desired and enjoy.
Pastry Cream Directions
- Put milk in a thick bottomed saucepan. Bring up to a boil, stirring frequently to keep the milk from burning to the bottom of the pan.
- While the milk heats, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together then add egg and mix until smooth.
- Add about 1/3 of the hot milk to the egg mix, whisking rapidly, then pour the tempered mix back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk.
- Return to the stovetop and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil and thickens. Stir in vanilla extract.
- Pour and work the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl to catch any lumps. Cover with a piece of wax or baking paper to keep a skin from forming. Store in the refrigerator until needed. Can be kept in fridge for 3-4 days when used for baking.