Tuesday, September 23, 2008
These pastries taste great with any combination of fresh seasonal fruit. Recipe makes 6 slices.
8 ounces (250 g) puff pastry or 2 sheets frozen pre-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 pint (300 ml) fresh or thickened cream
4 teaspoons caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla flavoring essence
4-8 ounces (125-250 g) raspberries and/or redcurrants
Icing sugar, to sift
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
2 tablespoons julienne of lemon rind
1. Lay a sheet of pastry on a lightly floured surface; brush with cold water and lay the second pastry sheet on top. Roll over lightly with a rolling pin to seal. Trim the edges with a large sharp knife. Cut the pastry in half lengthwise, to make two wide strips about 10 x 5 inch (25 x 12.5 cm). Cut each strip into three 5 x 3 inch (12.5 x 7.5 cm) rectangles.
2. Preheat the oven to 440 degrees F (220 degrees C). Put the pastry rectangles on a large baking tray. To make the lids, score a border around each rectangle 1/2 inch (1 cm) in from the edge. Be careful not to cut all the way through the pastry.
3. Chill the pastry shapes for 10 minutes. Brush tops with egg and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until well risen and golden.
4. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Carefully remove the lids from the center of each pastry rectangle and reserve.
5. For the sauce, put the white sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and 3 fl ounces (90 ml) water into a small pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 5 minutes, or until thickened and reduced slightly. Leave to cool completely.
6. Put the cream, caster sugar and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer or hand-held rotary beater until soft peaks form.
7. Spoon the cream mixture and fruit onto the pastry bases. Put the lids on top and sift the icing sugar. Serve with the lemon sauce.
Tip: If preferred, use strawberries, cherries or blueberries in place of raspberries or redcurrants. Stone the cherries and slice the strawberries before filling the pastry cases.