creamy garlic scape + chive flower pesto & asparagus tart

i can hardly believe it has been a month since I have posted up a recipe for you guys. the past few weeks have been such a whirlwind that i actually had not even realized it had been so long. i promise the whole summer will not be like this, i will be much more present from here on out. 

i had said that this recipe would be up last week but i ended up coming down with a pretty bad flu on friday afternoon. i woke up that morning feeling a slight tingle in my throat, went to charlotte & the quail for the day and felt like i was progressively getting worse as the afternoon went on. by the time i got home i completely crashed. i had a bath literally the second i walked into the house and honestly i kinda though i wasn't going to make it out of the bath. my head felt like it weighted about 1500 pounds, i could barely open my eyes they hurt so much and although my throat wasn't intensely sore it had an awful stinging sensation. 

friday evening was one of the worst nights, every hour or so i would wake up completely drenched in a cold sweat, i would fall back to sleep pretty quickly, which was great, but only to wake up an hour later in the same cold sweat situation. it almost felt like i was outside of my body, in this twilight zone knowing what is happening but not completely. i ended up waking up out of this almost trance like state on saturday afternoon, yes afternoon, at 12:30. i reached over to look at the time thinking it would maybe be around 8 or 9 am at the latest and it was 12:30! it was wild to say the least. 

i slept much better last night and am already feeling heaps better, i have a bit of a cough still but my head is back to a normal weight and last night i didn't go through anymore of those cold sweats, thank goodness!

through a busy week and then coming down with the flu i never got a chance to share this creamy garlic scape and chive flower pesto and asparagus tart that i had promised you guys, so here i am coming to you guys on a sunday morning.

this tart is incredibly easy and is full of all the freshest summer ingredients. garlic scapes might just be my new favourite thing to eat and cook with. i had never really used them in the past but over the last couple of weeks i have been playing around with them and have fallen in love. you really can use them just like you would regular garlic. throw them in a pesto like i have, grill them up on the bbq until they are slightly charred, bake them up on a flatbread, simmer them into a nice summer soup....the options are pretty endless and they are really quite lovely and fun!

the pesto itself is also really versatile. if you have some left over it freezes really good, or you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and spread it on toast, have it with some eggs or chicken, use it as a dip for veggies etc etc...


creamy garlic scape + chive flower pesto & asparagus tart

pesto

1 cup cream cheese

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup fresh basil

4 garlic scapes

3 chives with flower heads

juice of half a lemon

salt and pepper to taste

tart

1 bunch of asparagus

1 package of puff pastry

garnishes

zest of one lemon

chive flowers

chopped basil

directions

preheat the oven to 400 degrees

de-thaw one square of puff pastry. once thawed roll out the square to about 9x9 (this does not have to be exact). transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the fridge until ready to use.

in a food processor add all of the pesto ingredients and blend until smooth. 

break the ends off of the asparagus and set aside. 

take your puff pastry out of the fridge and score a 1/2 inch border around the square. spread on (inside the score line) a layer of the pesto and top with the asparagus pieces keeping them whole. (if the asparagus is quite thick you can cut them in half length wise, but if they are fresh and local and thin keep them whole). whisk an egg up and wash the border of the tart with the egg, sprinkle some salt and pepper and then drizzle the whole tart with a little olive oil.

bake for 15-18 minutes.  let the tart cool for a few minutes, then garnish with some fresh lemon zest, basil and chive flowers. serve warm. 


sweet puff pastry filled with vanilla mousseline cream and lilac infused honey whipped cream

if i had one weakness, ok let's be real I have a lot more than one weakness butttt if i had to pick one of my biggest weaknesses, especially when it comes to anything foodie like it would be pastries. i love pastries, love them, love them, love them, a little too much really. there is just something about a warm, buttery, flakey, chocolate filled croissant, a thick and creamy vanilla slice, a sweet and tangy lemon danish or a puff filled anything, sweet or savoury, (i think you get my point) that seriously gives me alllll the feels.

pastries are my, "I can not say no to" kind of dessert. that and classic vanilla cake, because who can say no to vanilla cake? probably a lot of people, but do we really wanna know those people? 

last week i shared with you guys a lilac infused honey and told you to make it stat because this week i had a special something something to share with you that used it, well this week is here and these little cream filled delights are the share. now if you didn't get a chance to make the lilac infused honey not to worry you can use regular honey to sweeten the whipped cream, or even maple syrup. the lilacs give the whipped cream a soft floral essence, a little bit different than normal but these cream puffs will be just as delicious with regular sweetened cream too.

i actually think the vanilla mousseline cream might be the real show stopper in these puffs. it is so delicious, i was literally eating it by the spoonful! 

mousseline cream {german buttercream} is similar to pastry cream, {which is actually its base} except a littler fancier as it is mixed with knobs of butter, which give the cream this decadent silky texture. the saying is really true, what isn't better with butter?! 

you have to be careful when making mousseline cream or pastry cream, it is best done is a heavy bottomed sauce pan as it cooks up very fast and the yolks can get fully cooked to the bottom of the pan if you don't whisk it fast enough. so all the steps must be done pretty quickly and all in an order. make sure to have all your ingredients out and measured so that you can add them accordingly and whisk at the same time.

once you add the butter if your cream breaks (or curdles) don't worry to much about it. when a cream breaks it is usually because one of the components in the cream is cooler or warmer than the rest, it is actually quite an easy fix. 

either you let the cream sit for a few minutes to let all of the ingredients come to the same room temperature (aka let the butter melt, as it might have been too cold), then whip it very fast and usually it will come back together. another trick is to add a warm cloth to the outside of the stand mixer, this helps bring everything in the stand mixer up to the same temperature and once again, after a few minutes,  if you whip it very fast it should all come back together into one creamy consistency. 

i added some extra fresh lilac flowers to the whipped cream for a little more texture and prettiness. these little sweet puff pastries are actually incredibly light and airy. they would make the perfect summer picnic treat or tea party dessert. feel free to play around with the creams, they can be flavoured with anything really, coffee whipped cream or maybe even some kind of berry. a little drizzle of chocolate on top of these would be quite lovely too xx


sweet puff pastry filled with vanilla mousseline cream and lilac infused honey whipped cream

ingredients

1 package of puff pastry

1 egg

4 tbsp turbinado sugar 

mousseline cream

2 cups milk

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon cane sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tbsp pure vanilla

half vanilla bean pod

A pinch of salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened

lilac infused whipped cream

1 1/2 cup cream

1 tbsp pure vanilla

fresh lilac flowers

3-4 tsp lilac infused honey

 

directions

preheat the oven to 400 degrees

puff pastry

de-thaw the puff pastry squares at room temperature. once thawed roll the puff pastry into two 8x8 squares. whisk one egg and brush onto the puff pastry squares, sprinkle with turbinado sugar. cut the squares in half and then each half into 4 one inch wide by two inch long rectangles. place the rectangles onto a parchment lined baking sheet.

bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and puffed up.

once baked place on a cooling rack.

mousseline cream

in a thick bottom sauce pan warm 2 cups of milk over low heat. scrap the seeds out of half a vanilla bean pod and add them to the milk along with the vanilla bean pod.

in a bowl cream the egg yolks and cane sugar. sift in all-purpose flour and cornstarch. whisk until smooth. finally stir in pure vanilla and a pinch of salt.

pour only 1/4 of warm milk into the creamed sugar and egg yolk and whisk to combine. take the vanilla pod out of the pan of milk then pour the cream into the warm milk.

over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil whisking constantly and quickly. when it starts to boil, whisk continually until the cream thickens and take off the heat immediately. this step goes very very fast so make sure you are whisking as quickly as possible and take it off the heat as soon as possible so the eggs don't get fully cooked. 

transfer the mixture to a stand mixer and fold in 1/3 cup of unsalted butter. mix until combined then let cool. 

meanwhile cream the other 1/3 cup of softened butter. when the cream mixture is cooled to room temperature, add in the remaining creamed butter. whisk until smooth then add to a piping bag.

lilac infused honey whipped cream

in a stand mixer add the cream, vanilla and lilac honey (to taste), whip on high until fluffy. fold in the fresh lilac flowers. add to a piping bag.

to assemble

carefully cut the puff pastries in half, pipe a layer of the mousseline cream, top with a piped layer of lilac whipped cream. top with the puff pastry and sprinkle with icing sugar. serve!