Breakfast Puff Pastries

So, if you know Mike and me just a little bit you know we love breakfast.  We look forward to holidays because we know we can treat ourselves to a lazy morning and make a special breakfast.  This Christmas I tried a new breakfast recipe taking inspiration from the red pepper and egg galette found in the Jerusalem Cookbook.  Instead of using Middle Eastern spices and sour cream, I gave my pastries an Italian twist by incorporating basil and rosemary into ricotta cheese.  These were delicious!  In fact, they were so irresistible,  I made them again on New Year's day!

Not only did I make a savory puff pastry, but also a sweet berry pastry.  I whipped up a glaze using powdered sugar, a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and reserved blackberry and strawberry juices which created a beautiful delicate pink icing.   And as luck would have it, I still had fresh mint growing in the yard, so of course I harvested a few leaves to julienne for garnish. 

These breakfast pastries couldn't have been any easier to make.  I used Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets.   Two pastry sheets came in a package, which made a total of 8 pastries, each pastry about 4 in x 4 in. I trimmed about a 1/4 inch strip around the edge of the puff pastry sheet before cutting the sheet into four squares to add extra height around the border of each savory pastry square.  The bottom of the pastry was docked (poked with a fork) to prevent bubbles and extra rising.    When I made these breakfast pastries for the second time, I found that prebaking the puff pastry squares without the ricotta mixture produced a crispier bottom crust.   

Another thing I learned in making these breakfast pastries is that you will not want to use pasteurized eggs.  Because the pasteurized eggs are heated in a water bath to destroy harmful bacteria, they seem more susceptible to overcooking in the oven.  My recommendation is using small, organic eggs.  Large eggs will overflow the 4 inch square pastry shell.    

I hope you don't mind, but the recipes listed today are not too precise.  I was winging it knowing whatever leftover veggies I precooked (onion, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach) I could use in omelettes the following day {mmm, another yummy breakfast}.   Feel free to use whatever fruit and vegetables you have on hand in the kitchen.  Here's to good food and gladness!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  The recipe should make four egg & veggie pastries and four berry pastries.

Ingredients for breakfast puff pastries

  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry (contains 2 sheets), thawed
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
  • 1 pint blackberries, rinsed and dried
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed & dried. Remove leaves and cut into halves or thirds lengthwise.
  • 1/2 bell pepper (your choice of color), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 6 button mushrooms, rinsed, pat dry, and slice
  • 5 small eggs (4 whole eggs for the pastry, one  egg separated to make an egg wash)
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tsp each rosemary and basil
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper or silpat liner
  • pastry brush

Directions for breakfast puff pastries

  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and onions, stirring occasionally until translucent.  Add bell pepper and mushroom, cook until softened.  Add tomatoes and spinach to warm through. Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove pan from heat and allow to gradually cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Prepare thawed puff pastry dough.  On a lightly floured surface, gently roll one of the sheets of dough out to a 9x9 inch square.  Cut a half inch strip off top and right side, so you are left with an approximate 8x8 inch square.  Cut the two strips in half again to make four 1/4 inch strip.  Cut the 8x8 inch square of pastry dough into four equal squares (i.e. one cut top to bottom, one cut right to left).   Repeat to the 2nd sheet of puff pastry dough.
  4. Separate one egg yolk from the white.  Add 1 tsp of milk or water to egg white to make an egg wash.  
  5. Place 4 squares of puff pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Using a pastry brush, light brush the egg wash along a 1/4 inch border of the pastry square.  Carefully stretch and lengthen the 1/4 inch strip of pastry dough; place on top of the egg wash around the border of the pastry square.  Brush the border top with egg wash.  Dock the bottom of each of the pastry squares.
  6. Cook pastry squares for 10 to 15 minutes at 400 degrees until edges rise and just start to turn golden.  Remove from the oven, set aside.
  7. Divide the drained ricotta cheese into two-1/2 cup portions.  Add basil and rosemary to one portion for the egg and veggie pastry.  Keep the other 1/2 cup portion plain.
  8.  Top 4 squares with 2 tablespoon herb ricotta cheese and 4 squares with 2 tablespoons of plain ricotta.  
  9. Arrange the cooked vegetables on top of the herb ricotta, leaving a well in the middle for the egg.  Return to the 400 degree oven on the top rack for 10 to 15 minutes, until the egg sets.   You may have to turn the baking sheets half way through. 
  10. Arrange berries on top of the pastry squares with the plain ricotta.  Return to the oven on the middle rack until berries soften. You may have to turn the baking sheets half way through.
  11. Serve immediately.