Fair Trade Scallop Vol au Vent

French for "windblown," vol-au-vent are light puff pastry pockets that serve as vessels for a wide range of fillings, most often a meat and vegetable combination. This rendition cups Fair Trade Certified™ scallops and green peas smothered in a decadent cream sauce. We've provided instructions for making the pastry pockets from scratch, but if you're pressed for time, or baking just isn't your thing, feel free to use pre-made dough. Your loved ones will be none the wiser - promise!  

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Ingredients

For the pastry shells

  • 1 lb puffed pastry dough, thawed
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • Extra flour for rolling

For the scallops

  • 1 to 1 ¼  lbs frozen Fair Trade Certified™ sea scallops (approximately 16), thawed, rinsed, and placed on a paper towel to dry
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cream sauce

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
     

Preparation Instructions

Make the pastry shells

  1. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch square cookie cutter, cut out 8 pieces; cut out centers from half the squares with a 2 1/2-inch square cookie cutter to form rings.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and cream. Using a pastry brush, moisten top of each vol-au-vent with egg wash, being careful not to let any drip down over the cut edges. (Or moisten each ring and round with egg wash; lay one ring on top of each round, lining up outside edges.) Place vol-au-vents on an ungreased baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake until vol-au-vents are puffed and golden on the outside, about 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; continue baking 10 to 12 minutes to let insides cook through. Transfer vol-au-vents to a wire rack. While warm, remove and discard inside dough, and let shells cool completely.

Cook the scallops

  1. If present, remove the muscle from the side of the scallops. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the butter and oil to a medium nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the scallops when the pan is hot. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a golden crust on each side while still being translucent inside.

Make the cream sauce

  1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour. Whisk until smooth and continue cooking for 2 minutes, gradually adding the stock and cream while whisking. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the peas to warm through just before serving.

Assemble the vol-au-vent

  1. Place one vol-au-vent on each plate.  Place four scallops in each and spoon over the cream and pea mixture.
  2. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley if desired and serve!