A friend graciously invited a group of ladies to her home for lunch – she had been in a supper club where each time they assembled, they chose a different theme, and she was excited to start up another such gathering.
It was a truly wonderful group of Mademoiselles, some I knew, and some I met for the first time. There was fabulous, meaningful conversation, a wonderful sensation of feeling connected and my tastebuds were extremely happy with the chosen French theme.
I was excited to try these petit chaussons, but of course I was running late and didn’t have time to make my own pastry, as Julia Childs suggested in the recipe, so I used store bought puff pastry. Because I was so busy fixing my hair, I overcooked the turnovers, which resulted in them looking a little unattractive, and caused a lot of the filling to ooze out, so it seemed like I was biting into an empty pastry shell. Needless to say, I was disappointed.
In an effort to redeem myself, I have made them since, using store bought pie dough and it worked much better. I had simplified my hair style, so they were cooked perfectly, the filling remained contained and they were fabulously delicious. One day, when I have the time, and perhaps even less hair, I would love to try and make my own pastry dough.
PASTRY TURNOVERS WITH BLUE CHEESE or PETITS CHAUSSONS AU ROQUEFORT
1/2 pound Roquefort or blue cheese
1/4 pound softened butter
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cognac
1 1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 to 6 tablespoons of cream
chilled pastry dough
1 egg beaten in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon water
Mash the cheese in a bowl with a fork. Beat in the butter then the egg yolks, cognac, pepper and chives.
Beat in the cream by tablespoons but do not let the mixture thin out too much. It should remain a fairly thick paste. Correct seasoning.
Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. With a ravioli whee or a knife, cut the dough into 2 1/2 inch squares. Heat oven to 425F.
Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square. One by one, paint a 1/4 inch border of beaten egg around the edges of the pastry. Fold the pastry over on itself to form a triangle. Press the edges together firmly with your fingers. Press them again making a design with the tines of a fork. Place on a buttered baking sheet and continue with the rest of the turnovers. Paint the tops with beaten egg.
Poke a 1/8 inch hole in the center of each pasty top so cooking steam can escape.
Bake in the oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned.
Recipe adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, Simone Beck, 2009