Monday, July 28, 2014

Coconut Sugar Peach Pastry

 Before we begin with this lovely recipe, I'll start with a suggestion for how to serve them.  I’ve found the best way to serve these is in a bowl while they are still warm with some cream poured on top or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.  Peaches N' Cream in its most classic form!  These pastries have a great flavor on their own, but when I put this recipe together, I envisioned the cream component included to round out the flavors.  Leave a comment and let us know if you find another amazing way to serve these!
The best thing about this recipe?  It uses no refined sugar!  It calls for mostly coconut palm sugar and a very small amount of xylitol.  So let's get started...

What you'll need for the Pastry:

¼  oz (1 Packet) Yeast                     

1 tsp Salt

½ Cup Warm Water                 

¼ Cup + 1/2 tsp Coconut Sugar

1 Large Egg                                              

4 Cups Flour

½ Cup Milk, scalded                                  

1/3 Coconut Oil, melted                            

1 tsp Vanilla Extract 

1  tsp Cinnamon
      In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (no hotter than 110 degrees).  Add ½ teaspoon of coconut sugar to the yeast.  Set aside until the mixture becomes foamy and expands to almost double the original size.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.

      While you’re waiting for the yeast to foam, it’s time to scald some milk!

     In a saucepan on medium-low heat, stir milk constantly until small bubbles start to form along the sides of the pan, but don’t allow mixture to boil.  Remove from heat.

       In a mixing bowl combine the milk, cinnamon, coconut sugar, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, and egg.  Mix well.

       So, off subject for a moment here, with a quick, funny story that is a good reminder to always pay attention while you’re cooking!  The last time I made a batch of these, I was also in the middle of helping to make another dessert.  So I may have forgotten to add the egg into the above mixture.  Hence, this picture shows you what the liquid mixture will look like if you don’t have an egg in it.
      I didn’t realize I hadn't added it in until I had already poured the yeast and the flour into the liquids.  So then I had a “Make it work!” moment!  I figured the worst that could happen would be that I would have to start from scratch.  I cracked open an egg and carefully kneaded it by hand into the dough.  It was super sticky and difficult to fully mix in, but with a firm grip and a lot of patience I succeeded!  

I did have to add about an extra ¼ cup flour at the end to compensate for the extra stickiness that had formed. 

Soooo, the moral of this story is to always double-check that you have included every ingredient before moving onto the next step!

       Back to the recipe!

        Add in two cups of flour to the milk mixture and continue mixing until it has a smooth texture.  Pour the yeast into the dough and mix until fully combined.  Add the remaining flour and mix until the dough is easy to handle.  Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes to be sure that the flour is completely mixed in.

       Place dough in a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise for one hour.  It should almost double in size.  When the dough has about a half hour left on the rising time, we can start making the peach filling.  You’ll need the following...

 Peach Filling

3 Cups Diced Fresh Peaches
2 tsp Coconut Sugar

1 tsp Xylitol

1 tbsp Whipping Cream

½  tsp Salt

½  tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Maple Syrup

½ Cup Sliced Toasted Almonds

      Peel and dice peaches until they measure three cups (this should take about 3 -4 large peaches).  Place in a saucepan with coconut sugar, xylitol, heavy cream, almond extract, salt, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  Let the ingredients simmer over low heat to allow the flavors to combine.

       If you don’t have toasted almonds, you can easily make them yourself.  Just  toss some raw sliced almonds in a skillet and stir them over low heat until they turn golden brown.

       Once the dough has risen, then you can prepare it for the filling. On a clean and lightly floured surface, roll out the dough until it’s about the size of a 9x13 pan.

       Preheat oven to 350°F.  Prepare a muffin tin by greasing each cup. 

       Cut out pieces of dough that are few inches square.  They should be big enough to press down into a muffin cup with a little extra dough over the top.  Fill each cup with spoonful of peach filling then add about six sliced almonds and a sprinkle of coconut sugar.  Fold over the dough flaps so you have a semi-sealed pastry.  Repeat this process until you have used up all of the dough.

       Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.  Keep checking them after the first 20 minutes so you can be sure to pull them out of the oven just as they are turning a nice golden brown on top.
     Allow to cool in the muffin tin for about three minutes before removing to a cooling rack.  Let cool slightly.

      While the pastries are still warm, top them with some cream or ice cream and enjoy!