I love Dan Lepard. Every Saturday, I check the Guardian How to Bake page to see Dan's recipe of the week. Because of commitments to my baking groups, I don't have the opportunity to bake very many of Dan's sweets. But lucky for me, he is pretty careful to balance the recipes in his baking column - some breads, some desserts, some savory offerings. The coolest thing about Dan is that he runs his own baker's forum, where he will answer questions about any of his recipes, whether from his books or the Guardian column.
A couple of weeks ago, the featured recipe was Sweet Potato Crescents, which was perfect timing as I'd just received some stunning purple sweet potatoes in my farm box order. An added bonus: his recipe is vegan and quite healthy.
- To cook the sweet potatoes, I cubed them and then braised them in the littlest bit of butter and a tablespoon or 2 of water, for around for 5+ minutes, until tender. If you're making this a vegan dish, you'd omit the butter, naturally.
- The crescent dough is made with oil, which was a relief after all the butter pastry that's come my way in the course of in my weekly baking assignments. The dough was sturdy and smooth, and quite elastic. I rolled it to the specified size and cut the rounds of dough. Once cut, the circles immediately sprang back to a smaller size. So then I had to stretch them as I filled and folded them.
- One note of caution: turmeric will stain your skin yellow. We learned this from past experience, and let's just say that the do-it-yourself-facial book is no longer in our house! Wearing kitchen gloves while handling the pastry would help with this risk.
- I ended up with 17 crescents, and the filling and pastry were perfectly matched in quantity - a pleasant surprise!
I loved the vibrant colors and melding of flavors in these little pastries, as well as the speed with which they came together. I topped them with fresh cilantro and chopped tomatoes, which complemented the flavors of the filling very nicely In place of buttery-sinfulness, this pastry delivered spicy-healthfulness.