Cream Horns!

Making good use of the puff pastry that I made the other day, we decided on Cream Horns.  I used sweetened whipped cream for my filling,  and I used crushed up oreo cookies for the sprinkling, and a shake of Confectioner’s Sugar. I’ve also added a Cream Filling Recipe (below) and a pastry cream to use if you want. (It is very good.) Use your imagination and have fun!!

Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough
From “Baking with Julia” by Dorie Greenspan
2 1/2 cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 cups Cake Flour
1 Tablespoons Salt
1 1/4 cups Ice Water
1 lb Very Cold Unsalted Butter

Mixing the Dough: Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot
hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them. Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.) Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small
sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern. Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it
with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that’s about 1″ thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.

Incorporating the Butter:
Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10″ square. Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with “ears,” or flaps. Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don’t just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8″ square. To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is
warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue
at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.
Making the Turns:
Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square). Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the
dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24″ (don’t worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24″, everything else will work itself out.) With this first roll, it is
particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to
get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!). With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in
thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn. Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24″ and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.
Chilling the Dough:
If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you
refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you’ve completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns. The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.

Your not going to need this much Puff Pastry for your Cream Horns (I made 12) I used a third of puff pastry, but I encourage you to make the whole recipe and freeze the puff pastry for future use.

Whipped Topping
1/2 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4-1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar (or to taste)
1 tsp. Vanilla or Almond Extract

Combine all ingredients in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whip until stiff peaks form.

OR make a pastry cream and lighten it with whipped cream

Pastry Cream

1 1/4 Cups Milk
1/2 Vanilla Bean, Split lengthwise
3 Large Egg Yolks
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/8 Cup All Purpose Flour
Scant 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
3/4 Tablespoon Liqueur (Grand Marnier, Brandy, Kirsch, etc.) Optional

In a medium sized stainless steel bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together with a wooden spoon. (Never let the mixture set too long, or you will get pieces of egg forming). Sift the flour and cornstarch together and then add to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan combine the milk and the vanilla bean on medium heat until boiling. (The milk will foam up to the top of the pan, so watch carefully). Remove from heat and add slowly to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Remove vanilla bean, scrape out seeds, and add the seeds to the egg mixture. (The vanilla bean can be dried and placed in your sugar bowl to give the sugar a vanilla flavor. This sugar can than be used in baking where you would like a vanilla flavored sugar, i.e. cookies, pies, cake, etc.) Place the egg mixture back into a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for another 30-60 seconds until it becomes very thick and hard to stir. Remove from heat and immediately add the liqueur (if using). Pour into a clean bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap (directly onto the cream) to prevent a skin from forming. Cool completely. If your not using right away, refrigerate until needed up to 3 days. Beat before using to rid of any lumps that may have formed.

Cream Filling:
1 Cup Whole Milk
5 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp.
1 tsp. Vanilla

Whisk together flour and milk in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly,  until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, beat flour mixture until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients, one at a time, mixing well after each. Mixture should look like whipped cream and should not have any grittiness to it. Use to fill your cream horns.

To make the Cream Horns:

Roll puff pasty out to about 1/8th of an inch. Cut into 1/2 inch strips and wrap the pastry around the horn molds (or ice cream cones covered with foil), Keep wrapping until you get to the bottom of the cone or the top (which ever way you started). Brush pastry with a little milk and roll or sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Place in a hot 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned.

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