recipe under the cut!
for the pâté feuilletée:
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp (250g) all-purpose flour, measured by spooning flour into a measuring cup until heaping and levelling it off
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (200g) vegan margarine
- 1 tsp salt
- around ½ cup (125mL) water
for the crème pâtissière:
- 1 cup (235mL) soy milk
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp vegan margarine
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
for the royal icing:
- ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp cornstarch
- 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
- a few tbsp water
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- about ¼ cup (60g) vegan semisweet dark chocolate
pâté feuilletée (aka puff pastry) is made by interposing layers of butter in between layers of lean dough (made with flour, salt, and water) so that the dough flakes and puffs up as the butter boils in the oven. you’ll need to surround a layer of margarine with lean dough and fold it up, roll it out and re-fold it six times, refrigerating in between to keep the margarine cold. each time that you do this is called a “turn.”
1. cut margarine into large cubes. arrange the cubes into a square on top of a sheet of plastic wrap, then fold the plastic wrap back over the top. flatten the cubes into a solid square about 1/2″ thick by beating the wrapped margarine with a rolling pin. refrigerate.
2. next you’ll be making the lean dough. measure the flour into a large bowl or directly onto a work surface. form a hole in the center of the flour, then add salt and 1 tbsp of water into the hole. mix the salt and water into the flour with fluffing motions of your hand. add water little by little, continuing to fluff the flour with your hand (this will prevent overworking–you don’t want too much gluten to form in the dough) until large chunks form and the dough sticks together when pressed. form the lean dough into a square (it’s alright if it’s a bit messy) and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. roll out the lean dough into a square about 7″ (18cm) in diameter. place the square of margarine on top of the lean dough at a 45-degree angle. fold the corners of the lean dough over to meet over the top of the margarine and pinch to join.
4. turn the square over seam-side-down onto a lightly floured working surface. roll it out into a rectangle about twice as long as it is wide, and fold into thirds lengthwise like a letter.
5. rotate the folded rectangle 90 degrees, then roll it out and fold it up again just as you did before. at this point you’ve completed the first two turns. make two marks in your dough with your fingers to remind yourself of where you are in the process. refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
6. roll out and fold the dough twice more as you did before, rotating it 90 degrees between each turn, and marking four turns with your fingers before returning the dough to the refrigerator. you can pat some flour into any spots where you see the margarine start to break through. if this is happening a lot, you may need to refrigerate the dough every turn instead of every two turns.
7. complete the final two turns and chill the dough for at least an hour, or overnight.
8. on a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick. cut the pastry into thirds widthwise (so that you’re cutting perpendicular to the longest side). place on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. pierce each piece of dough all over with the tines of a fork. set in the fridge while you preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 C).
9. cover the dough with another sheet of parchment paper, then weight it down with pie weights or another baking sheet to prevent it from puffing up too much as it bakes.
10. bake for about 25 minutes, until deeply golden brown. remove the parchment paper and weights for the last few minutes if necessary to add color. allow to cool completely.
for the crème pâtissière:
1. in a small bowl, mix about ¼ cup of the soy milk with all other ingredients except margarine.
2. heat the rest of the milk in a small pot on medium until it starts to simmer, then reduce heat to low.
3. add the cornstarch mixture to the simmering milk. heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. continue whisking over low heat for a few minutes until the cream thickens.
4. remove from heat and whisk in the butter. refrigerate to set.
for the royal icing:
1. whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and xanthan gum in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. slowly add water, while beating with an electric mixer on low speed, until the desired consistency is attained. it should be thick enough to form soft peaks when the beaters are pulled straight up out of the bowl.
3. add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
for the chocolate drizzle:
1. melt the chocolate in a double boiler (or create a double boiler by boiling a few inches of water in a small pot and placing the chocolate in a glass mixing bowl that fits into the pot without touching the water, stirring constantly). add a few teaspoons of soy milk if the chocolate seems too thick. transfer to a pastry bag, or a plastic sandwich bag with a very small hole cut into one corner.
1. spread half the pastry cream over one piece of the puff pastry. top with the next layer of pastry, pressing down gently to adhere. spread the rest of the pastry cream over the second layer of pastry and top with the third piece, again pressing down to adhere.
2. evenly coat the top of the pastry with the royal icing. immediately drizzle the chocolate across the top of the icing in a series of parallel lines. pull the tip of a knife perpendicularly across the lines of chocolate, alternating direction with every line, to create a chevron pattern.
3. using a sharp knife, trim the edges of the assembled pastry so that they are clean and even. refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. cut into individually-sized portions and serve.