Berry and Peach Pudding Tart
Oh my goodness, Hong Kong can be so frustrating sometimes. If you want to cook or bake something western you can never find the ingredients you need or if you do you have to spend the whole day hopping from store to store getting what you need.
What does this all mean? It means that I am always looking at plan B and have to make everything from scratch. Is that a bad thing? Most likely not, as things are fresh and made with only ingredients that I can pronounce. That is a very good thing.
We have the most delightful neighbors that moved in across the hall and I wanted to bring over a little dish to share for a little afternoon tea that her children and my fussy teenagers would enjoy.
Originally, I was just going to make an easy peasy rustic galette with puff pastry and berries but had to go to 3 different stores to find puff pasty. Now with all the ingredients on hand, I realized I did not have enough time to pull it off as I was due to arrive at her place in 45 minutes. (The reason being is that if you are making a galette out of puff pastry you should really refrigerate the assembled dessert for one hour before baking so that it does not lose it shape and end up with a pool of berries in your oven. I learned of this the hard way a few years ago and oh my goodness, berries are difficult to clean up.)
So then I needed to come up with plan B in a jiffy. I had berries and puff pastry and my oven was preheating. Now if we just had some whipped topping, whipping cream or instant pudding in the house I could make a dessert in a flash. Not a drop of anything.
Have no fear, where there is a will there is a way. I began the google search of easy puddings. I landed on a gold mine!
In just 15 minutes flat I made one of the most delicious vanilla pudding I have ever had with a few substitutions. Now the beauty of this recipe is that it is delightfully gluten-free and dairy free. You could add any flavoring you like to change-up the flavors. For example maybe a little cinnamon, saffron, cardamom or maybe even a little amaretto liquor or even lemon flavoring... Thank you Argo Starch for your inspiration.
I whipped up the pudding in the microwave in a flash and then spread into a big baking sheet and covered with a plastic wrap so it did not form a skin on top and cooled off really fast. In the meantime, I baked 3 "relatively" even rectangles of puff pastry and washed and cleaned my berries and sliced some fresh juicy peaches and tossed with a little granulated sugar.
Now for the assembly, my boys helped me layer the puff pasty with a slathering of vanilla pudding and some fruit and repeat this process until the masterpiece was 3 layers high and topped off with just a little dusting of icing sugar. Oh my goodness, it was heavenly. I will certainly be making this again.
Berry and Peach Pudding Tart
August 13, 2014
Delightful in season blueberrys, raspberry and peaches stacked in 3 layers with dreamy homemade vanilla pudding and crispy puff pastry topped with icing sugar.
- Cook: 45 mins
- Yields: 8 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager
Easy Vanilla Pudding
1Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Remove puff pastry from freezer to unthaw-could take up to one hour at room temperature. (Mine unthawed while waiting for the bus in Hong Kong's stifling heat and humidity in 15 minutes)
2Make the pudding: Blend sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in almond milk and egg yolks until well blended. Microwave on HIGH power for about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir every 1 to 2 minutes until the pudding is thick and delicious or has boiled for at least 1 minute. (You can skip this whole step and swap out for instant pudding or the kind you find in the snack sacks for lunches)
3Step 2: Remove cooked pudding from microwave and stir in margarine/butter and vanilla or other flavorings as desired. Pour pudding into a bowl (or in a baking sheet and let the plastic wrap cover and touch the puddings top so that it does not form a skin and put in the freezer to expedite the cooling process.) Or place into the refrigerator until cool.
4Bake the puff pastry: I used a Jus-Rol unthawed but yet chilled puff pastry sheet. (Do not let you pastry dough get too warm/soft or it will fall apart and give you problems) I floured my working service lightly and rolled out my dough until it was about 1/8 inch thick and in the shape of a long rectangle. I then cut my large rectangle into 3 smaller even rectangles. Transfer your cut puff pastry rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Use your fork to puncture some holes in the dough to allow place for the steam to escape and to keep the dough from getting overly puffy. Brush your pastry with egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (This is an optional step) Bake for about about 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and set the puff pastry on a sheet/plate to cool.
5Place blueberries in a bowl and add one tablespoon of sugar or sugar alternative and stir. In another bowl place the peeled and sliced peaches into a bowl with a little squeeze of lemon to prevent the peaches from turning brown and about a tablespoon of sugar or sugar alternative. If your fruit is sweetened by the sun, you can skip the sugar step or use sugar alternative as desired. (Feel free to swap out for blackberries, strawberries, kiwi, jack fruit, mango, lychee or really any fruit your desire. However it works best with softer fruits that are easier to bite into.)
6Assembly: Set your first slice of baked cool puff pasty on a long dish. Slather a few heaping teaspoons full of vanilla pudding on top and spread. Add a layer of blueberries on top of the vanilla pudding. Add the second baked puff pastry sheet on top of the blueberries. Add another few teaspoons of vanilla pudding and spread. Add a layer of fresh peaches on top of the vanilla pudding. Add the final layer of baked puff pastry. Add a final layer of vanilla pudding and spread. On top, a final layer of raspberries and then finally a dusting with a little powdered (icing) sugar.
7Refrigerate until to ready to serve or up to 4 hours and serve. Enjoy!