Strawberry-themed pastry recipe is the cream of the crop
Last updated at 20:01, Thursday, 21 June 2012
To celebrate the imminent start of Wimbledon, our recipe thoughts are geared around strawberries. This week we bring you an easy peasy fruity delight, perfect for afternoon tea.
375g block good quality all-butter puff pastry
4-6 tblsp icing sugar
450g ripe strawberries
½ tsp vanilla paste (this is usually found in a jar in the baking isle in a supermarket and is a combination of fresh vanilla seeds scraped from the pod and sugar), or 1 tsp vanilla extract
284ml pot double cream
140g caster sugar
Butter for greasing
Heat the oven to 220C.
Roll the pastry out to a square about 30 x 30cm.
Lay it on a large greased baking sheet. Place another baking sheet on top. This sounds strange if you haven’t done it before. The reason is that you do not want the puff pastry to rise to its full potential. By weighing it down with the second sheet the layers in the pastry become much more compacted and more biscuity in texture which is ideal in this dish.
Bake the pastry for about 20 minutes until golden.
Heat the grill to high. Dust the surface of the pastry liberally with icing sugar and toast under the grill until the icing sugar becomes caramelised.
Repeat this process by dusting with another layer of icing sugar and return to the grill to caramelise again. This will give you a lovely sweet and crunchy topping to your pastry.
While still warm, cut the pastry biscuits into 12 neat rectangles (giving you three per person), trimming the edges as you go. These can now be kept in an airtight container for up to a day.
Once you are ready to serve, slice the strawberries then dust with a little icing sugar, mix together and set aside.
Combine the double cream with the vanilla paste or extract and the caster sugar. Whisk this together until it just holds its shape in soft peaks
To assemble, place a blob of cream on each serving plate – this will anchor your first pastry biscuit. Place your first pastry biscuit on the cream and stack two layers with strawberries and cream, finishing with a plain crisp pastry layer on top.
First published at 19:21, Thursday, 21 June 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk