Disclosure: I developed this recipe for Basil Blueberry Cheese Pastries in partnership with Gourmet Garden, who compensated me for this post. As always, all opinions remain 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep the lights on!
Labor Day has passed and, just like that, summer slips into fall. Not yet completely–the first day of Autumn isn’t for another couple of weeks–but the shift is apparent. Nights are cooler. Mornings are darker. Daylight fades earlier and earlier daily. She’s almost here – my favorite season of the year.
It might be because I was born in October, but Fall is my season. I can’t imagine living somewhere where there isn’t a kaleidoscope of color this time of year. What would Autumn be without a landscape that evolves daily; that commences with a fullness and richness that demands attention, then transitions to starkness, everything exposed to the world, guiding one to inner thought and reflection? Maybe I’m just reading more into it than is there, but this is my balance…
I have other reasons to get excited about the coming of Fall this year. A friend will be visiting in late September. A true girls’ weekend is the plan, with a hotel room, new tattoos for both of us, dining out, and catching Evil Dead: The Musical at the Warner Theatre in Torrington. I’m pretty sure we’re sitting in the splatter zone. I don’t mind in the least. What a great way to mark the transformation of time.
Soon comes a shift in my baking, as well. Summer berries make way for apples and pears and pumpkin delights. Gone are the delicate desserts, replaced with heartier fare. Sandwiches step aside for soups; ice cream for pie. Soon, yes, but not quite yet…
That’s the great thing about preserves. They allow you to stretch the season a little bit longer. They let you relive those glory days and lend them to something new. A lot like how Gourmet Garden captures the essence of summer to be transported into the next season with you. The garden might be winding down, but Gourmet Garden lasts forever. Or, for up to 3 months, at least. That’s not a bad deal, when you think about it.
Summer isn’t over yet, nor is my desire for blueberries. I think these Basil Blueberry Cheese Pastries do a nice job of hanging on to the best parts of a setting sun, especially with that bit of basil. Don’t worry–you don’t have to let go ever, if you don’t want to. Do what makes you happy. I know I’m trying to.
Basil Blueberry Cheese Pastries
- 1 sheet puff pastry refrigerated or thawed, if frozen
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 4 ounces full fat cream cheese softened
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup blueberry preserves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Gourmet Garden Basil Stir In Paste
- sanding sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.
- Line work surface with parchment paper and roll out puff pastry dough on it. Cut into 6 pieces by cutting in half lengthwise and in thirds crosswise. (There's no need to separate them, as they'll bake up separately.)
- With a fork, dock the pastry to within 1/2" of the edges of the pieces. The easiest way to is perforate the dough in a rectangle first, like you're using each rectangle of dough as a guide to make a smaller rectangle inside of it, then poke the middle 5 or 6 times all over. (This helps keep the middle sunken while the edges puff up.)
- In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk the egg and water until well blended; brush on the edges of the pastry pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract until smooth. Spread over the inner rectangles on each pastry piece, dividing evenly among them. Be careful not to go all the way to the edges!
- In a small bowl, mix together the preserves and basil until well blended. Drop large spoonfuls into the centers of the pastry rectangles, dividing evenly.
- If desired, sprinkle sanding sugar on the edges of the pastries.
- Slide the parchment paper with the pastry onto the rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until golden.
- Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.