*This festive Holiday bread is made with flakey, super buttery homemade puff pastry, filled with a rich pumpkin caramel, and twisted up into a sweet, swirled pastry.
There are a few things in my kitchen that I don’t think I could function without. One is a fantastic chefs knife. Another is a slow cooker. But my favorite of all? My Vitamix. It makes so many things possible, and in an incredibly easy way, too. If you’ve followed me for a little while, you know just how much I adore it. It’s made itself especially useful this holiday season with so many pumpkin recipes in high circulation. I was raised on canned pumpkin and really only started making my own pumpkin puree this year, thanks, in part, to my trusty Vitamix.
See, I have a thing with textures, and even my food processor could never give me the silky smooth, velvety purees that I’m so fond of. My Vitamix, however, is so powerful that I can fill it up with roasted pumpkin, put on the lid, and have incredibly smooth pumpkin puree in 30 seconds flat. I don’t even have to scrape down the sides or add water – this machine is so powerful that it pulls the solid pumpkin right down. It does come with a tamper, but to be honest, I’ve never needed to use it. Come read my previous post on how to make your own pumpkin puree and see for yourself!
Oh, Plus?! Vitamix sent me their newest model AND…..its COPPER. Copper, folks. I can’t even deal with how gorgeous it is. You can bet it’s allowed to sit out on my counter now. See above mentioned post for a glimpse of it’s beauty.
Anywho, with my new stock of pumpkin puree, I’m having a blast popping it in all sorts of recipes. This Pumpkin Caramel Puff Pastry Twist is going to be making an appearance at several meals this holiday season. That’s the beauty of sweet pastries – they double as breakfast OR dessert. Wouldn’t this sweet pumpkin filled twist be perfect on Thanksgiving morning?
I’ve given you a recipe for homemade puff pastry which I think it super easy and well, just the best, but if you want to save a little time and effort you can always use frozen pre-made puff pastry.
The best part of this twist? Pumpkin caramel. Free of refined sugars, buttery, velvety, and rich. Make sure to cook the maple syrup down long enough that it becomes a deep amber color. Too long and you’ll have burnt syrup. Not long enough and you won’t develop enough caramel flavor and the finished caramel will be a light orange. Shoot for the color of the caramel pictured. It will be a deep orange, almost brown color.
The top is sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Use cane sugar for a fine dust and slight crunch. If you like crunchy sugar, use turbinado. It will look beautiful on top of the pastry!
- FOR THE PUFF PASTRY: (if you do not want to make your own puff pastry, frozen store-bought pastry will work perfectly in it's place.)
- 1⅔ cup Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 8 ounces Grass-fed Butter, cold
- ½ cup Ice cold Water
- extra flour for dusting
- FOR THE PUMPKIN CARAMEL:
- ½ cup Pure Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- pinch of Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- ⅓ cup Pumpkin Puree or ⅓ cup-sized piece of roasted pumpkin or squash
- FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING:
- 1 Egg, beaten
- ¼ cup Raw Cane or Turbinado Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- FOR THE PUFF PASTRY:
- Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and toss into the flour. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, slice the butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the water. Mix together lightly to form a dough. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and pat into the shape of a rectangle. Flour the top lightly and roll out to about half the thickness (the first part of this process will be a bit messy). Using a bench scraper, scrape under the top third of the rectangle and fold it over on top of the dough rectangle. Do the same thing with the bottom third of the dough so that you have formed a rectangle with three layers that is now laying horizontally. Turn the rectangle so that it is facing you vertically again and repeat the process of rolling, scraping, and turning, until you have done it about 10 times (use as much flour as is needed to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and counter, but not so much that it becomes dry). At this point you will have developed several flaky layers of pastry. Butter smears should be visible in the dough (this is where the flaky-ness comes from. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour. Meanwhile - make the caramel filling.
- FOR THE PUMPKIN CARAMEL:
- Place the maple syrup in a saucepan (preferably a light colored one so that you can clearly see the color of the syrup) and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, or until the syrup thickens up and becomes a deep amber color. You should be able to smell the scent of caramel. Be careful not to burn the caramel.
- Add the butter and salt to the caramel and continue to cook for another 30 seconds, stirring frequently, until the caramel is smooth and butter has been fully combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Place the pumpkin puree in a blender (I use a Vitamix) and pour the caramel over the pumpkin puree. Blend for 30 seconds at medium speed until filling is super smooth and velvety. Let cool completely.
- Take the puff pastry out of the fridge and place on a well floured surface. Dust a rolling pin and the top of the pastry with flour. Roll the puff pastry into a rectangle that is ¼" thick.
- Spoon the pumpkin caramel on top of the puff pastry and smooth out so that it evenly covers the pastry, leaving ½" border with out caramel.
- Roll the pastry up, lengthwise, as you would to make cinnamon rolls.
- Cut the pastry roll in half, lengthwise.
- Starting in the center, twist the pastry up to one end, then move to the other end and twist the pastry down to that end. Shape the twisted strand into a circle, pressing the ends together.
- Carefully place the pastry circle on a baking sheet.
- FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR TOPPING:
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush the top of the pastry with the beaten egg.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the top of the pastry.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is a deep golden brown.
- Let cool for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
*Thank you so much, Vitamix, for sponsoring this post!