In early November, during my second week in Finland, it began to snow. The first snow this early was unusual even for Helsinki. The weather changed from golden autumn directly to white winter, without the dark and wet November weeks. It surprised everyone here. When I arrived at R. & B.s place, the last apples were still hanging on the trees, and the foliage was buried under a white layer. To me, this seemed perfect. It was all I had hoped for in my ideal version of the north. All my dreams and ideals of Helsinki and a winter in Finland thus fulfilled, brought the longing for candles and pastries. Christmas could come.
The first pastry that R. made when I came were Joulutorttu. Joulutorttu is a puff pastry star with a plum centre. They are not grand but beautiful and super delicious. Translated Joulutorttu means Christmas tart. To German ears, this sounds funny. At least I needed a little time until I came down from my high horse and could call them that in my head without putting the tart in ironic quotes.
If this recipe is one of your standards (and has been for a long time), then try to make them smaller. The children here in the kindergarten produce them only one-third of the standard size. Visually it's a hit.
Let's venture on to the super-duper secret recipe: buy deep-frozen puff pastry, allow it to defrost a little and cut it into squares of the desired size. You should also purchase a glass of plum mousse and parchment paper.
Then proceed as follows:
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees and place the Joulutorttu in it for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and eat.
- Do not cut the tips of the stars exactly in the corner. The thinnest spots have the habit of burning prematurely.
- Use the plum mousse as an adhesive and a paper weight so that the folded corners stay put.
- Use circulating air to keep the puff pastry nice and evenly brown.
- You do not need powdered sugar. No, you don't. It also doesn't look more beautiful. No. Be cool. Stay classy.
- Eat all at once and portion the bites, so each bite takes in part of the plum mousse.