Sunday, September 27, 2009

September Daring Bakers: Vols-au-Vent with Stilton and Apricot Preserves

The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan. To be honest, I almost didn't complete the challenge this month! I was pretty busy with school, and didn't get around to it until this Saturday. Luckily, I ended up pushing through to finish the puff pastry this weekend, and I was really glad I did!

The puff pastry dough wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and it baked up to be really delicious. I turned it into hors d'oeuvres by cutting really teeny vols-au-vent and topping them with Stilton cheese and apricot preserves. For whatever reason, the vols-au-vent went totally crazy in the oven and rose so high that they fell over! Take a look:

See that little hole on the side? That was supposed to be the top of the pastry shell! Oops. Well, despite the cosmetic problems, these little appetizers were totally delicious. The cheese and preserves were the perfect salty-sweet pairing, and the puff pastry was buttery, tender, and so much better than store-bought. They're a little prettier from this angle!

Vols-au-Vent with Stilton and Apricot Preserves

Homemade puff pastry
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with water)
Apricot Preserves
Stilton or another good blue cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Roll out the puff pastry to about 1/8-inch thick. Cut several small circles out of the dough (I used the back of a pastry bag tip). Cut smaller holes out of the center of half the circles. Prick the solid circles with a fork, and leave the circles with the centers removed plain. Brush the solid circles with egg wash, and then place the rings on top. Brush the rings with egg wash as well. Be careful not to allow the egg was to drip down the sides of the circles.
3. Bake the puff pastry shells until they are nicely browned. Allow them to cool.
4. Fill each pastry shell with a small slice of Stilton cheese and top with a spoonful of apricot preserves.

34 comments:

  1. The pastry still looks lovely, light and fluffy and would be divine with stilton.

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  2. I adore those little crazy puffy babies.

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  3. Very cute, and I had the same problem with them puffing over, I think it was because I didn't have them properly weighted so they went all wonky, oh well they still tasted amazing.

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  4. Love the idea of apricot preserve for the vol~Au~Vents Sara. Delicious and pretty!

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  5. I think they look great, it's nice sometimes that everything looks a little different and aren't all the same. great job

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  6. Thanks for visiting my blog and your wonderful comment! Congrats on hitting a century on the number of posts.

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  7. Very well done! I love those flavors!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  8. The pastry looks flaky no matter how you decorate it. Must have tasted great as well, especially with these flavours.

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  9. its not the way they look but whats on the inside--or in this case, on the outside. great combo. (And, thanks for the shout out.)

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  10. Stilton and apricot sounds lovely. I think your pastry rose so much coz you did such a splendid job with the folding, rolling and turning! Mine didnt rise as much as I had hoped. And as long as they taste great, thats all that matters...

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  11. Wow! Your puff pastry took off. It's like a slinky that kept on stretching. Stilton and apricots sound very yummy!

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  12. Oops, he looks rather forlorn.. but so tasty! :D

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  13. hehehe @ fallen dough. these little puffies. they really don't know how to pace themselves do they? just wanna rise up!!!

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  14. That's just my kinda puffy! I love it keeling over...and I would give anything to hop across NOW, and have stilton @ apricot...I really would Sara!!

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  15. these look adorable sara! nice job on the flavor too. love it!

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  16. Yum... the stilton and apricot sound delicious with the puff pastry. Great job!

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  17. They are cute! :) They must really taste good, as they rose so high... mine was kinda raw in the center! :P Great job!

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  18. Your leaning tower vols au vents are sooo cute! That flavor cominbation sounds great with the buttery pastry. I agree, I thought it was better than store bought...

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  19. Oh my! I love how much they rose! Gorgeous job =D

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  20. Very creative filling you chose, I can imagine that the sweet jam and sharp cheese contrasted nicely together.

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  21. They're totally cute! It looks like a rainbow of puff :) And peach + blue cheese sounds delicious. Mmm!

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  22. I love it..a cheese plate vols au vent..apricot preserves and stilton looks and sounds crazy good! Way to knock it out of the park, as always! :)

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  23. Fallen over or not, they look good... and apricot and stilton? Oh yum!

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  24. What a great flavor combination--apricot and cheese--it sounds and looks delicious!

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  25. Wow, looks like you've really got the magic touch with puff pastry! How funny that they fell over.

    They sound delicious!!

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  26. I think these look super cute! and the apricot and cheese combination sounds divine. Great job on this challenge!

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  27. LOL that's soo funny and cute. Other than that, I think your puff pastry looked pretty good, especially how much it rose.

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  28. Ooo! Great idea! I have some apricot stilton in the fridge. Looks like I need to make more puff pastry :)

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  29. I'm sure they were delicious! Fantastic flavor combo!

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