Florida Strawberry, Lavender Farmers Cheese and California Walnut Braided Pastries

How could there not be pastries at a brunch, desserts are a must, right?  Best for last?  California Walnuts sent all the participants of #BrunchWeek a bag of fresh from the tree walnuts and I was thrilled to use them for a scrumptious sweet #BrunchWeek finale!

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Strawberries are the perfume of the produce section right now in our Florida groceries.  I love this time of year with all the U-Pick farms, the road side stands filled with just picked berries.  With the inspiration from the berries and the beautiful earthiness of the fresh walnuts I thought making a pastry would be perfect.  To emphasize seasonal I wanted to use a floral essence, so I added the lavender.  Perfectly seasonal!

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Ingredients

  • 16 ounces strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  • 16 ounces of puff pastry sheets (2 sheets)
  • 1 cup California Walnuts, chopped
  • Lavender Pastry Cream
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash

 Lavender Simple Syrup:

  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon dried lavender

 In a small sauce pan but sugar, water and lavender in and bring to a rapid simmer for about one minute reducing to about half.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 

 Lavender Farmers Cheese Pastry Cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 7.8 ounces farmers cheese (8 is fine, but the package I used was 7.8, either way)
  • 2 tablespoon lavender simple syrup
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

 Add the softened cheese to a bowl and beat until combined.  Add in remaining ingredients and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy, and completely mixed. Place in piping bag if you like, but a spoon will work just as well.

Method: 

Preheat oven to 400.

On a floured surface, roll one puff pastry sheet out to be 1/8 inch height to about a 12×10 square.  Cut with a knife down the center so there are now two 6×10 sections.  Trim a triangle from the corners of each section.  Cut angled strips down the 10 inch length of the dough, about ½ inch apart, make the same number of cuts on each side.  

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Pipe or spread a ¼ of the pastry cream down the center of the each piece.  Top with 4 ounces of cut and cleaned strawberries and then sprinkle ¼ cup of walnuts down the center.
 

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Make a fold with the top piece of the pastry over the berries. Starting at one end, fold the pastry strips over the filling, alternating sides, to cover the filling.  Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with egg wash.

Repeat with remaining cut section of pastry, and then repeat with the second sheet of pastry dough.  Place two braided pastries on each baking sheets.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until pastries are golden brown.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.  Cut each piece in half or in quarters depending how much your stomach is growling.

Makes 8 large or 16 regular size pastries.

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These pastries could be a little sweeter for some, but a simple sanding sugar after brushing them with the egg wash would do the trick.  The lavender is very delicate, not overpowering at all- infact, one may not even notice.  The California Walnuts earthiness were the perfect complement to the light floral, the farmers cheese and to the sweet strawberries. 

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As #BrunchWeek comes to a close today, leaving us with a library of ways to treat the Mom’s of the world tomorrow- I wanted to shout out again to all the participants of #BrunchWeek, and especially Terri of Love and Confections, and Christine of Cook The Story who made it all happen- You ladies are Fabulicious!

Join us at the #PinChat today, May 11th from 2-3 Eastern, for a chance to win prizes and participate in #BrunchWeek closing ceremonies!!  Until then- take a look at all this mouth watering goodness!

Brunch Drink Recipes

Frozen Grasshopper by Amanda’s Apron
Gin and Sparkling Red Wine Cocktail by Take A Bite Out Of Boca
Chocolate Trifle {kid friendly} by Real Housemoms
Vanilla Pomegranate Mojito by Noshing With The Nolands
Cherry Sangria by Cooking In Stilettos

Potato Brunch Recipes

Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes with Vidalia Onions and Thyme by Cook the Story
A Salad Called German Potato by The Vintage Cook

Breads, Grains, Cereals and Pancake-type Yums

Chocolate Chip Craisin Granola Bars by Big Bear’s Wife
Dandelion Pesto Pizza by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Biscoff Walnut Granola Parfaits by White LIghts on Wednesday
Stuffed French Toast by poet in the pantry
Pina Colada French Toast by The Domestic Mama & The Village Cook
Sourdough Epi Baguettes with Rhubarb Blood Orange Ginger Jam by Spontaneous Tomato
Carrot Cake Pancakes by Love and Confections

Spreads and Dips for Brunch

Strawberry-Kiwi Jam by Sweet Remedy
Grilled Pineapple and Walnut Dip by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner

Brunch Dessert Recipes

Raspberry Sweet Rolls with Meyer Lemon Glaze by by Cravings of a Lunatic

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