I'm a little ashamed to admit this was my first time ever using frozen puff pastry.
WHAT HAVE I BEEN WAITING FOR?! It was so simple to work with and makes a seriously show stopping dessert.
These were some of the easiest desserts I've whipped up in a while. Let's talk about it .
Frozen puff pastry + fresh mango curd + fresh blackberries + freshly whipped lightly sweetened cream with VANILLA BEANS BABY. Can you see those beautiful little flecks of goodness in there? That's what's up.
The pastry is so ridiculously easy. You literally buy it. Unwrap it. Bake it. Boom. Done. I bought the shells instead of the sheet for no other reason than that's what I saw. And also because I thought they were sheets even though they are VERY clearly labeled as SHELLS and there is even a picture on the packaging that is very clearly NOT a sheet. I'm just extremely unobservant apparently? Whatever. It all worked out beautifully. As you can see.
If you've never made curd before it's really not hard! You can totally do this. All you need is some mango puree, sugar, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice, eggs, a few egg yolks and some butter. It comes together in about 15 minutes. And guess what? If you don't stir it as well as the pros and cook a few little egg particles, you can always strain those little suckers out. I actually ALWAYS strain my homemade curds just for funsies. *sarcasm* And because I LOVE doing extra dishes. *super sarcasm*
You can buy mango puree in the frozen section of most grocery stores or you can make your own. If you buy from the store I actually think it's labeled as mango PULP, but totally SAME DIFF. You'll need a cup of puree to make the mango curd so if you want to go the fresh mango route you are going to need 2 large mangoes or 4 small ones. It's SUPER important that you use RIPE mangoes that are REALLY sweet. **Your mango curd will only be as good as your mangoes.** Find those old, ripe, delicious mangoes, peel the skin off, cut that big ol' pit out of the middle and throw them in a blender or food processor. You'll end up with a beautifully smooth mango puree.
Fair warning: You are going to end up with leftover curd. *Le gasp* But I'm sure you can think of a few uses for it. I believe in you. But off the top of my head: Pancake topping, crepe guts, macaron filling, eat it with a spoon, etc. You get the idea.
As for the whipped cream, one of my favorite baking ingredients is vanilla bean paste. You don't have to scrape the innards out of some poor unsuspecting vanilla bean. Someone else has already done all that dirty work for you. Just throw it into some freshly whipped cream and it will give you all that good flavor and all those beautiful flecks everyone loves.
When I make these again I'll definitely layer a few blackberries on top of the mango curd before I pipe the whipped cream on top. One blackberry was totally not enough. Please learn from my mistakes!
The mint sprig is totally unnecessary but really cute, right?
Mango Curd Blackberry Puff Pastries with Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream
1 package frozen Puff Pastry Shells, baked according to package directions
For the mango curd:
1 cup mango puree* (homemade, or storebought. If storebought, make sure it's thawed)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pinch of kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cold and cubed
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or more to taste
Pinch of kosher salt
Fresh mint sprigs, optional but cute
For the mango curd:
Whisk together mango puree, granulated sugar, salt, cornstarch, lemon juice, eggs and egg yolks in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Warm over low heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Add butter a few pieces at a time and continue whisking until the butter is incorporated and the mixture has thickened. If the mixture coats the back of your spoon and you can draw a line through it without the curd flooding back into the line you drew, you are good to go.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and cover it with plastic wrap pressed to the top of the curd. This will ensure a skin doesn't form while it cools. Refrigerate for at least 4 or 5 hours. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
Add all the ingredients to the bowl of your stand mixer and whip together until light and fluffy. Be careful not to overwhip it! You'll get vanilla bean flaked butter.
To assemble the pastries:
Peel the tops off your baked puff pastries as per the package instructions. Spoon your prepared and cooled mango curd into the cavity of the puff pastry. At this point I would add a few blackberries (I did not. And I wish I had).
Pipe your freshly whipped cream on top however you like. I used my favorite piping tip which is the Wilton 1M.
Finish with a beautiful blackberry and a fresh mint sprig.
If you use frozen mango pulp from the store it can be much more watery than mango puree made at home. I would add an additional 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to the mixture (total of 4 teaspoons) just to make sure it sets up nicely and doesn't end up too runny in the end.
If you decide to use fresh mangoes - they should be VERY ripe and VERY sweet.