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Bon Appetit / January 1983

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  • Puff Pastry:
  • 4 cups sifted hard wheat flour or bread flour
  • 1 1/3 cups (about) water
  • 1 tblsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups well-chilled unsalted butter
  • Lemon Cream:
  • 1 cup unsalted ubtter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tblsp grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 egg whites mixed with 4 tsp water
  • Sugar



Step 1

For Puff Pastry:
Place flour in large bowl, reserving 3 tablespoons. Make well in center of flour. Add 1 cup water, lemon juice and salt to well and blend in circular motion using fingers. Gradually incorporate flour around sides of well until firm, slightly sticky dough forms. Sprinkle in more water (about 2 tablespoons) several drops at a time if needed for desired texture.

Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and very elastic, 15-20 minutes (or knead in mixer fitted with dough hook, completing last 5 minutes by hand). Dip fingers into water occasionally if dough begins to dry out. Wrap dough in plastic and flatten into disc. Refrigerate dough for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Meanwhile, shape butter into 3x6x1 ½ inch block. Roll butter in reserved 3 tablespoons flour, coating all sides evenly. Chill until ready to use.

Arrange dough on lightly floured surface (preferably chilled). Lightly flour dough and your hands. Press and pat about 3x6 inch space in center of dough to thickness of about 1/3 inch. Roll dough out on 4 sides around rectangular space in center to thickness of about ¼ inch, forming rough four-petal flower pattern. Brush off excess flour. Center butter block in dough. Stretch dough over butter 1 side at a time, overlapping and sealing dough so butter is completely enclosed. Generously flour dough. Wrap in parchment paper, then in damp cloth. Refrigerate 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Lightly flour work surface. Roll dough out evenly and gently into 8x18x1/3 inch rectangle, using firm consistent rolling motion and avoiding rolling over ends; do not pound or squeeze dough. If dough resists rolling, return to refrigerator. If at any time butter can be seen between layers, return dough to refrigerator until butter is well chilled and firm. When rectangle is formed, lightly roll dough in opposite direction to flatten ends to same thickness as rest of dough. Brush off excess flour. Turn dough so long edge is parallel with edge of work surface closest to you. Fold each end of rec tangle to meet in center. Roll lightly over dough to even. Brush off excess flour. Fold left side over right as if closing a book, forming 4 layers total. Refrigerate dough for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Arrange dough on lightly floured work surface with narrow ends of rectangle parallel to edge of work surface closest to you. Lightly flour dough. Roll into 8x18 inch rectangle. Brush off excess flour. Turn dough, then fold as described above. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour. Repeat rolling, turning, folding and chilling 3 more times. Cut pastry in half crosswise. (Puff pastry can be prepared months ahead and frozen. Let stand overnight in refrigerator before using.)

For Cream:
Melt butter in top of large double boiler set over hot water. Blend in sugar, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt. Beat egg yolks with eggs to blend. Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is shiny and thick, about 12 minutes. Cool lemon curd to room temperature. Meanwhile, whip cream to stiff peaks in large bowl. Gently but thoroughly fold whipped cream into lemon curd. Chill lemon cream until ready to use.

To form cornucopias, arrange half of pastry on work surface with narrow ends of rectangle parallel to edge of work surface closest to you. Lightly flour pastry. Roll out pastry to rectangle 7x14 inches. Cut pastry in half crosswise; return half to refrigerator. Roll out remaining half to 9x14x1/8 inch rectangle. Even edges using ruler and pastry wheel. Cut rectangle into about 1x13 inch strips. Refrigerate strips at least 30 minutes. Repeat with remaining pastry dough.

Butter about 2 dozen metal cornucopia molds. Remove 1 strip of pastry from refrigerator. Moisten ½ inch strip at end of pastry. Starting at narrower end of mold, wind pastry around mold, overlapping slightly as you wind and stopping ½ inch from top; do not stretch pastry or it will shrink and break while baking. Moisten end of pastry strip and press to seal. Return to refrigerator. Repeat with remaining strips. Refrigerate pastry on molds 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425. Brush pastry with egg white mixture, leaving portion of pastry that will rest on baking sheet unglazed. Roll glazed part in sugar. If dough softend, plast in freezer for about 10 minutes. Arrange molds on ungreased baking sheet, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Immediately twist metal molds free from pastry. Let pastry cool. (can be prepared ahead and frozen.)

Just before serving, spoon lemon cream into pastry bag fitted with star tip. Pipe cream into pastry in spiral motion. Arrange platter and serve.

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