We get asked all the time what are some different things you can do with jam and jelly! Of course the easy answers are the classics like pairing with soft cheeses and crackers and also those delicious jam jams of course, but this one takes the cake... well at least in my books. I have been WAY over-complimented for this super easy party trick one too many times (but hey, I'll take it #showermewithloveimlazy).
Jam Braids are great for brunch if you like the sweeter things in life or can be used as a cocktail appy (appie? How do you even spell that?) if you lean more on the savoury side. Heck you can have both or either whenever you want who am I to tell you how to live your life, right? Ok onward to the recipes! This post has a little more of my rambling and pictures than the usual post only because I'm a visual learner and I'm not sure I could tell you how to braid the pastry without pictures, so my apologies for a longer than usual post! Cheers Locavores and Enjoy!
Savoury Jelly Braid
What you'll need...
- Puff Pastry (one roll does about 8-10 pieces)
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temp
-1 generous tsp garlic powder
- A couple pinches of sea salt
-Dried thyme or rosemary to sprinkle on top
- 1 Farm fresh egg
- 1 jar of LSF Jalapeno Jelly (or LSF Red Pepper + Garlic Jelly, LSF Zesty Red Onion Jelly, LSF Tomato Jam or LSF Habanero Gold would also be very nice choices)
** See instructions for both below.
Sweet Jam Braid
What you'll need...
- A roll of Puff Pastry
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 3-4 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 Farm fresh egg
- 1 jar of LSF Raspberry Vanilla (LSF Peach Raspberry, LSF Strawberry Rhubarb, or LSF Classic Cherry are also really lovely jams to use with this recipe).
Instructions for How to make a jam or jelly braid!
1.) First preheat your oven to 400F. After you've done that you'll need to roll out your puff pastry. I like to buy the "Bake it 7 days" Brand (at least I think that's the brand name, hard to tell by the package...it's made in Greece anyways) as the shape is perfect and I don't need to do any rolling.
2.) Divide your puff pastry into three sections (vertically) without cutting through the pastry, just graze the knife over with enough pressure that you can see the lines on the outer 2 sections, cut about an inch to an inch and a half off of both ends so you have a flap on the each end of the middle section (you will need this to fold in the braid).
3.) Mix cream cheese and dry ingredients (garlic powder + salt if making savoury OR icing sugar if making the sweet jam braid) together until cream cheese is spreadable. Then proceed to spread a nice even layer of the cream cheese mixture down the middle of the puff pastry.
4.) Then Spread the jam or jelly evenly over top of the cream cheese (I like a generous amount because I love jams and jellies but just be aware to line your baking sheet well if you spread the jelly on thick because excess may run over onto the pan and burn (you'll see in my image below), it doesn't effect your pastry but does leave a bit of a mess.
5.) Take a pairing knife and start to slice little slits diagonally up each side of the outer layers of puff pastry (leave the center with all of its creamy and jam filled goodness), making sure you have the same number of slits on each side and that they reasonably line up. These are the pieces you will be folding over to create the braid.
6.) Start braiding! Pick an end to start on and fold the end piece over into the middle to tuck in all the good stuff, then one by one start folding each of the side pieces over the middle, alternating sides, thus creating a braid. When you get to the last two pieces on either side, fold the opposite end flap in towards the center.
hahah....baby yoda.... hahahah
7.) Once your braid is all folded up and beautiful, crack your egg into a bowl and whisk it! Then proceed to egg wash the top of the pastry. Once you've got a nice wash, sprinkle some dried herbs and sea salt on top of there ( I usually go with thyme or rosemary) if creating the savoury braid, sprinkle extra icing sugar if creating the sweet braid, and stick it on a lined baking sheet. Place this beautiful braid in the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes! It usually takes about 20 minutes for me but some ovens vary in how hot they get and some puff pastries vary in cook time as well. Make sure you are keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn. It will be done when the pastry is golden brown and puffed all the way through (reference the middle because that's last to cook).
8.) Once done, take out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes - serve and enjoy!
A good example of how too much jelly (not jam) can lead to some spillage. However it doesn't effect the pastry itself, just a bit of a mess!
Would also be delicious topped with cowboy candied jalapenos!