Saturday, September 20, 2008

Strawberry and Apple Pastries

Delicious for dessert - these flaky pastries are served with a vanilla-flavored custard sauce. Recipe makes 4 pastries.


1 1/4 sheets frozen pre-rolled puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, to glaze
1 eating apple (about 5 1/2 ounces/175 g)
1/4 cup strawberry or raspberry jam or conserve
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1/4 pint (150 ml) fresh cream
8 teaspoons caster sugar
2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring essence
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon


1. Preheat the oven to 440 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface; trim the edges with a sharp knife. Cut the pastry sheet into quarters, to give a total of 4 squares of pastry.
2. For the filling, peel, core and dice the apple. Mix in a small bowl with the jam and cornflour. Spoon into the center of each pastry square.
3. Beat the egg with 4 teaspoons water and brush over the corners of each square. Lift the corners into the center and pinch together. Put onto the baking tray.
4. Cut four 1 inch (2.5 cm) rounds from the remaining quarter sheet of pastry. Brush the underside with the egg mixture and put on the center of each pastry for decoration. Brush the egg mixture over all the pastries.
5. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little.
6. For the custard, mix together the cream, sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, for 5-7 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and lemon rind. Cool, then serve with the warm pastries.

Tip: To help prevent the pastries from bursting, chill them for 30 minutes before baking.

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