Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
Light fruit pastries that are as healthy as they are pretty! Dainties are delightful for breakfast, dessert, teatime, and as a snack. They provide an elegant second act to for slightly overripe grapes (cherries and apples work well too).
It takes a little time for the dough to develop and to roll and fill the pastry, so this recipe’s a perfect antidote to a rainy or snowy afternoon when you have time to be creative. You can also make the fig paste and grape glaze days in advance to save time.
Prep time 2 hours for the dough to rise plus 1 hour
Bake time 30-40 minutes
1 ½ cups dried figs
1 (12-ounce) carton of 100% grape juice concentrate, defrosted
1 ½ - 2 cups black and red seedless grapes
½ cup water, warmed to body temperature
½ teaspoon active dry yeast
¾ cup silken tofu, well-drained
3-4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C
Place figs in a bowl. Either cover with boiling water or microwave for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Blend rehydrated figs with the soaking water in a blender until very smooth and uniform. Consistency should resemble a soft marmalade - easy to spread with a knife. If too dense, dilute with a spoonful of water.
Pour the defrosted juice concentrate into a small pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half; it should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat. The grape glaze will continue to thicken as it cools. The consistency should be like maple syrup and easily to brush on the pastry. If it overthickens, thin with a spoonful of water.
Using a mixer
Add warm water to mixer bowl, sprinkle on yeast, wait 10 minutes. Using the whip attachment, add tofu and run up to high speed to blend well. Exchange the whip for the dough blade. At low speed, add 2½ cups of flour gradually, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Very slowly continue to add only as much flour as needed to gather dough into a soft ball, about 8 minutes.
Mixing by hand
In a medium bowl add warm water. Sprinkle on yeast, waiting 10 minutes. Add tofu to a blender and run until smooth. Add the tofu to the bowl, mixing it in well. Incorporate the flour slowly, mixing it in with a wooden spoon and then with your hand. Knead it in the bowl for 8-10 minutes, adding small amount of flour as needed to form a very soft, slightly moist and sticky ball.
On a floured board, gently flatten, stretch and fold dough several times. Shape a ball, lightly flour surfaces, place it back in the bowl, cover with wrap, and move to a warm draft-free spot for 2 hours or unti the dough doubles in volume.
Transfer to a lightly floured board. Divide dough into 4 balls. Cover 3 with wrap, roll the 4th out into a 1/8” thick disk. Using a lid or other template with a 9-9 1/2” diameter, stamp out a circle, Then, with a pizza cutter or knife:
- Cut dough disk into quarters (see photo )
- On each quarter disk of dough, cut 3 slits on each side, spaced ¼” apart (see photo)
- Spread a thin layer of fig paste over the surface. Then placing 1 grape right at the top in the center, place 2 below it, 3 on the next row, and 2 or 3 on the bottom, depending of the size of your grapes. Leave about 1/4" of dough at the bottom (see photo)
- Gently stretch and fold the right corner of the dough over to cover grapes. Press the dough along the bottom to seal it (see photo)
- Lastly, gently stretch and fold over the left cover, as far as it will comfortably go. Press to seal the dough along the bottom. The stretched dough should create windows to reveal the grapes beneath (see photo).
Hint: If you have a pastry crimper, you can use it along the bottom of each dainty to create a pretty decorative border.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer each filled dainty to it as you go.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, use a pastry brush to coat the surface of each dainty with the glaze. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or just until the pastry is golden and the grapes have begun to shrivel slightly and release their juices. Do not overbake.
With a pastry brush reglaze surfaces a final time and transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes to allow its juices to congeal.
Grape dainties are most delicious when served warm. If you don’t serve directly after baking, reheat them for 5 minutes in a 300°F/150°C oven or zap for 30 seconds in a microwave. Dainties freeze well, but they may be all gone before you need to.
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