“He had never had any money for candy with the Dursleys, and now that he had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many Mars Bars as he could carry — but the woman didn’t have Mars Bars. What she did have were Bettie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs. Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life. Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.
Ron stared as Harry brought it all back in to the compartment and tipped it onto an empty seat.
“Hungry, are you?”
“Starving,” said Harry, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pasty.”
-Aboard the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Pumpkin pasties are a mutual favorite treat shared by Harry and many of his friends throughout the series. Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna, and Ginny have all been known to snack on pasties once in a while. Here in the muggle world, Potter fans seem equally as fond of the handheld sweets, for when I started researching pumpkin pasty recipe ideas, I was overwhelmed with the amount of feedback I received. The only issue was, it seemed every reader had interpreted Pumpkin Pasties in a very similar way, as there were minimal variations in recipes. It was always a sweet, flaky pie-pocket filled with the same pumpkin pie filling.
While I’m sure these versions are delicious, I decided to go a different route. I thought it might be interesting to do more of a Pumpkin Pastry, but still find a way to make it whimsical and fun. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there’s a time during holiday when Harry and Ron sat by the fire for hours on end, “eating anything they could spear on a toasting fork — bread, English muffins, [and] marshmallows. ” Naturally, I loved the idea of the two friends snacking on my favorite sweet, and I decided to incorporate the mallows. With that, the Pumpkin-Marshmallow Napoleon was born… although I think I’ve come up with a much better name for them:
Pumper “Pumpkin Pasty” Pastries
Inspired by: The Hogwarts Express Food Trolley’s “Pumpkin Pasties”
Caramel-Glaze Spiced Pastry Rounds
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
¼ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon all spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
–recipe yield: about 24-30 disks,
about 8-10 assembled napoleons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface, unfold one sheet of thawed puff pastry. Using a floured rolling pin, gently smooth out creases from folds and roll out puff pastry sheet to about 1/4 – 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 2-3 -inch cookie cutter or a round glass, cut pastry into about 12-15 disks and place onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a fork, prick a few holes into each disk. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill for about 5 minutes.
In a saucepan over medium heat, dissolve granulated sugar in ¼ cup water, bring to a boil, and turn off heat. Stir in brown sugar, butter, salt, spices, and vanilla, continuing to stir until butter has melted and the mixture has formed a warm glaze. Use a pastry brush to paint a small amount of glaze onto one side of each chilled pastry disk, placing the painted disks back onto the lined baking sheet. Cover the disks with another layer of parchment paper, and place another baking sheet directly on top of the paper to weigh down the disks as they bake. Bake disks for 10 minutes before removing from oven and flipping. Paint the glaze onto the opposite side of each half-baked pastry round, replace parchment paper covering and additional baking sheet cover, and then transfer back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Repeat all instructions for the second sheet of puff pastry. Allow rounds to cool completely on wire racks before assembling napoleons. Pastry disks can be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
¼ cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ all spice
pinch ground ginger
1½ envelopes unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water, divided
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
In a small bowl, stir together the pumpkin and spices until combined. Set aside. In a large glass mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin into ¼ cup of cold water and let sit. Have an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment standing by.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ¼ cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cover saucepan and place over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes before removing lid and attaching a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the syrup. Let the syrup cook until it reaches 240 degrees (about 5-6 minutes), and then immediately remove it from heat. With the mixer on a low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture, allowing it to pour down the side of the bowl into the gelatin. Once all the syrup has been added, increase the mixer speed to high and continue to whip the mixture until cools to lukewarm and becomes extremely thick, or about 12-15 minutes. The vanilla bean paste can be added during the last minute of whipping.
Once the marshmallow mixture has been fully whipped, use a spatula to fold about ½ cup of the mallow into the pumpkin-spice mixture. Then, pour the lightened pumpkin to the mixing bowl and fold it gently but thoroughly into the marshmallow. Transfer the combined mixture into a pastry or zip-top bag fitted with a small, plain round pastry tip.
Pipe 5-6 small dollops of pumpkin-marshmallow filling onto the surface of each pastry round. Set aside 1/3 of the mallow-dolloped pastry rounds. Use a water-moistened finger to lightly flatten the tops of each of the dollops on the remaining 2/3 of the pastry rounds. Let all pastry disks sit out, uncovered, for about an hour to allow the mallow filling to set. Stack up two disks with flattened dollops and top with an un-flatted dolloped disk to complete each napoleon. Serve, or store covered in an airtight container at room temperature.