The puits d’amour technical challenge couldn’t have happened at a better time. It’s summer, and the kids and I are bingeing on not-exactly-quality TV, namely The Flash. And one of our favorite characters is Dr. Harrison Wells.
When I told my 8-year-old Olivia that I’m baking puits d’amour, which translates to wells of love in English, she immediately asked: “What is Dr. Well’s favorite food to have on a date?”
Olivia: “Wells of Love!” followed by a fit of giggles.
Oh if only she knew how accurate she was.
Puits d’amour is a centuries old dessert that alludes to the female genitalia and was a favorite in Louis XV’s court — despite the stir it caused.
The GBBO 2018 pastry week technical challenge called for the bakers to make nine of these tantalizing treats, using Prue’s pared-down recipe. As with all the technical challenges, I used her exact recipe. The only exception for this challenge was the berry compote. I had two ripe peaches that needed eating, so I used those instead.
Here is Prue’s complete puits d’amour recipe and below is my recipe for the peach compote.
- Prue’s recipe calls for you to fold the rough puff pastry dough into thirds, as if folding a letter. To get even more layers in, I did a letter fold for the first lamination and a book fold for the second. This is when you fold the two edges of dough from the outside in, meeting in the middle. And then you take one side and fold it on top of the other. It should look like a closed book. This will bring you lovely layers of flaky pastry.
- Don’t skip any of the chilling and don’t mess with the timings either. Do 30 minutes chilling after the dough comes together and 30 minutes again after first fold. This ensures your dough is not too cold to work with. After the second fold, then you can leave it to chill until needed.
- If you can, do these over a few days so you don’t have a marathon. I cooked the compote first and left in the fridge. The following day, I made the rough puff and the creme patisserie. I made the pate choux the day I put them all together.
Makes enough to fill 11 puits d’amour rings.
- 2 ripe peaches, diced
- 60ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice
- 100g (1/2 cup packed) brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium, stirring occasionally until thickened to a syrup-like consistency, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.