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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Amaretto Blueberry Pastries

I remember when weekend mornings used to be relaxing.

I'd wake up when my body said it was time to wake up. Lay around in the covers for a few minutes, stretching and flipping my pillow over to the cool side, grabbing my phone and starting to scroll through Instagram posts and morning news stories. Eventually, when I felt awake, it was time for the first cup of coffee and a little bite of something to go with it...maybe a piece of a muffin or pastry. What time was it? Who knows, I wasn't on a schedule. The day was mine, my time was mine.

If you couldn't tell, all that is in the past. Like way way in the past. Since having Lilly 1 year 7 months and 22 days ago there have been no more relaxing weekend mornings. I remember that first feeling of "my time isn't mine anymore" in the hospital the day after she was born. Lilly was having low sugar readings, which meant she needed to stay in the NICU, and any time I wanted to see her or feed her I needed to make the trek from my maternity room to the NICU. If you've ever birthed a baby you'll know how painful that walk was, and making that journey several times a day, yikes, I just wanted to crawl there. But in the early morning hours I couldn't relax, my mind was racing of all the things I needed to do or should be doing.

"How's Lilly? I need to go see her."
"I need to pump, am I doing it right?
"I should be doing something for Lilly."
"If I'm not in the NICU all day, they will think I'm lazy."
"I'm so tired, I need to rest, is that selfish?"

These are the new mom thoughts, and you realize life has changed forever. Now on weekend mornings, I'm woken up way before my body says it's ready. When I come out to the living room, coffee isn't the first thing. Instead, it's setting Lilly up with what she needs: pouch, sippy cup of milk, clean diaper, second pouch because she's sucked down the first pouch at light speed and is whining for another. Now there's the overwhelming pile of dirty dishes in the sink, a dishwasher full of clean dishes that needs to be unloaded, somehow I'm feeling crumbs underneath my bare feet even though I swept and vacuumed yesterday.

"What are we eating for breakfast? She'll need breakfast soon."
"Lunch. What do I have in the house that is kid-friendly?"

In the middle of all this, I'm running on auto pilot. Grab the coffee pod, brew coffee, a teaspoon of sugar, half and half, drink.

You see, weekend mornings the mood is much different now. There's an un-relaxed feeling, on edge, I'm on someone else's time schedule. While I love being a mom, I miss being able to completely relax.

"She woke up at 7am, that means nap time at 11am...3 more hours to go."

When I can grab a few minutes of peaceful alone time, I enjoy a fresh baked treat like these Amaretto Blueberry Pastries is heavenly. There's just something about fresh baked pastry, the freshness of the puff pastry dough, homemade blueberry sauce is warm and sweet without anything artificial like packaged desserts. These Amaretto Blueberry Pastries deserve to be eaten with a hot cup of coffee, reading a good book, in the peaceful quite morning.




Food Exhibits


 After slicing the sheet into strips, take each strip and twist into a cork screw shape.


Then, take each cork screw and twist into a circular pastry form. I do this by taking on end, making that the center and wrapping the rest of the dough around this center. Make sure to close any gaps in the spiral, if there are gaps then the blueberry sauce will spill out onto the baking sheet.


The final pastry cups should look like this above, you'll see the circular spiral shape and there are no gaps between the dough. Press down lightly in each center to make a small well where you can pour the blueberry sauce into. Do not fill yet with the blueberry sauce, you're going to pre-bake the pastry unfilled before filling it.



Amaretto Blueberry Pastries are a warm and sweet pastry filled with a blueberry sauce with cinnamon, nutmeg, and amaretto. Top with toasted shaved almonds for a light crunch, these make the perfect breakfast snack with coffee or for a brunch gathering. Amaretto is a subtle flavor the will be complimented by the toasted shaved almonds.

-1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (this takes about 30-40 min to thaw, so take this out of the freeze and leave it on the counter to it's ready for when you want to make these)
-1/3 cup shaved almonds
-1 cup fresh blueberries
-2 tablespoons white sugar
-2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
-1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
-1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
-4 teaspoons Amaretto liquor

1. Heat oven to 350. Pour the shaved almonds onto a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes until browned and toasted. Once they are toasted, remove from the oven and increase oven temperature to 400.

2.  In a medium sized pot, pour in the blueberries over medium heat, lightly mash them a few times with a large fork or potato masher to break up some of the blue berries and let the juices out. You don't want to break all of them, but you do need some of them to be mashed. Once there is some juice in the bottom of the pot, add both the white and brown sugar, as well as the lemon juice. Stir so the sugars dissolve. Next pour in the amaretto, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and corn starch. Heat to a light simmer, then reduce heat to low. Stir until thickened. If this blueberry sauce is watery, add corn starch a teaspoon at a time to re-thicken. If you add more corn starch, you'll need to heat the sauce to bubbly for the thickening process to happen. This whole process of making the sauce will take about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl and allow to cool before filling the pastries.

3. To form the pastry cups, see the instruction photos above. Using a pizza cutter, slice the sheet of puff pastry into 11 or 12 strips, I did 12 although one strip was very thin. Then, take each strip of the puff pastry and twist into a spiral. Last, take each spiraled strip and wrap it around until you have a circular pastry cup. Press down in each center to make a well where the blueberry sauce can be poured. If you didn't look at the instructional photos please do this, just scroll up. It's a bit hard to explain the process and the photos will help you work with the puff pastry to get the correct method and shape.

4. Place each each unfilled pastry onto a lightly greased baking tray. Bake unfilled at 400 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, fill with blueberry sauce, then bake another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and top with some shaved almonds.


Enjoy!



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