Sunday, July 22, 2012

Puff Pastry 102

Emma Lazarus (July 22,1849-1887)

She is an American poet and essayist and the author of "The New Colossus," Lines from her famous poem are engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.
Today is the birthday of American poet Emma Lazarus. She was born in New York City in 1849. She came from a wealthy Jewish family, and her father paid to have her first collection of poems published when she was 17. Her early work impressed Ralph Waldo Emerson, and they corresponded for many years. In the 1880s, she was horrified to hear of violent anti-Semitic attacks in Russia and Germany, and her work took on a new Zionist focus. She became concerned with the plight of the poor and the refugee, and organized relief efforts for immigrant Jewish families. The Statue of Liberty committee approached her in 1883 and asked her to write a poem that they could auction off to raise money for the monument. She responded with "The New Colossus." The statue was erected in 1886, but she was in Europe. She sailed back to New York the following year, but she was too ill with Hodgkin's lymphoma to go on deck to see it as the boat passed. She died without ever seeing the statue she'd help raise money for "The New Colossus". 
Emma Lazarus' famous words, "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" may now be indelibly engraved into the collective American memory, but they did not achieve immortality overnight. In fact, Lazarus' sonnet to the Statue of Liberty was hardly noticed until after her death, when a patron of the New York arts found it tucked into a small portfolio of poems written in 1883 to raise money for the construction of the Statue of Liberty's pedestal. The patron, Georgina Schuyler, was struck by the poem and arranged to have its last five lines become a permanent part of the statue itself.
New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command 
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
by Emma Lazarus, New York City, 1883
Now that my self confidence has increased with my recent Puff Pastry 101 experiences I've  moved on to Puff Pastry 102. Since I ran out of parties/events to bring appetizers to my husband and I enjoyed this recipe as our main meal.
There are some short cuts to the recipe that I will include in cook's notes.
The original recipe is from
Note: 1 sheet of puff pastry makes 18 triangles with apple/onion filling left over
There is enough filling in this recipe to use both sheets in the box for a total 32 triangles  
Caramelized Onion-Apple Bites

Cook's notes:The onion/apple filling can be made the day before serving and refrigerate. Bring apple/onion filling to room temperature before adding to pastry and baking. Grate cheese ahead and store in a ziploc bag and refrigerate. The pastry triangles can be prepared ahead of time in the morning. Place on a cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate.
  • 2-1/2  TB. butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced thin, and chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp. Saigon Roasted Cinnamon (or use regular cinnamon) 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • about 3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry 
  • thyme
  • Melt butter in large fry pan over medium heat, add onions and salt saute about 5 minutes
  • Add in apple pieces, cinnamon, walnuts, and cook over medium heat about 15 minutes
  • Stir constantly till apples are soft and onions browned
  • Set aside to cool till baking
  • Unwrap defrosted pastry sheet-if using two pastry sheets cover other one with plastic wrap till ready for it
  • On a floured surface of parchment paper lightly roll pastry to a 10 inch square
  • Divide into 3 inch strips-then 3 inch squares
  • With a spatula that has been dipped into flour place squares one at a time on cookie sheet and then divide each square into a triangle
  • Make sure edges of each triangle do not touch each other 
  • Spread spoonful of apple/onion mixture on each triangle, and then sprinkle with shredded Fontina cheese and sprinkle of thyme
  • Bake 15 minutes till puffed and golden- serve onion/apple bites warm

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