Recipe: Semolina-filled puff pastry purses

Semolina-filled puff pastry purses
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

Semolina-filled puff pastry purses

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: About 2 to 2½ dozen purses


Note: Puff pastry sheet sizes vary by brand. A sheet measuring at least 9½ by 13 inches should yield 1 dozen purses. Do not overfill the purses or the filling will leak out. Pinch tops tightly to close. If despite your best efforts any of the filling does leak out, it can be removed with a spoon while the pastries are still warm after baking.

Our recipes, your kitchen: If you try this or any other recipe from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen, we would like to know about it so we can showcase it on our food blog and occasionally in print. Upload pictures of the finished dish here.

1/2 cup milk

2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons semolina (or Cream of Wheat)

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Small pinch salt


2 to 3 puff pastry sheets

24 to 30 pieces of kitchen twine, cut into 10-inch lengths

1 egg, beaten

Sesame or black sesame seeds, to garnish


Powdered sugar, to garnish

1. Make the semolina filling: In a small, heavy-bottom saucepan, heat the milk, sugar and water over medium-low heat until warmed. Gradually add the semolina, stirring constantly. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the butter, vanilla and salt and continue cooking until the mixture is the consistency of a thick porridge. This makes a scant 1 cup of filling, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe.

2. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, stirring the filling occasionally to prevent a crust from forming. The filling will continue to thicken as it cools.

3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.


4. Unroll the puff pastry sheets and, using a 3-inch cookie cutter, cut circles out of each sheet. Place the circles on the lined baking sheets.

5. Put a scant teaspoon of the filling in the center of each circle. Fold the circle in half, squeezing out any air, and pinch the corners closed. Fold the crescent in half and pinch together to form a little purse shape with a pinched top. Use kitchen twine to tie a bow at the top of each purse.

6. Brush each purse with beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Bake until the purses are puffed and golden-brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool slightly.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. The purses can be chilled up to 12 hours before baking; baked purses can be reheated briefly in a hot oven.


Each of 30 purses: 32 calories; 1 gram protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 2 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 26 mg sodium.