Strawberry and cream pastries
I am a big buyer of optimistic fruit. You know that moment in the supermarket when you look down at a basket largely filled with biscuits and assorted cakey things and feel the need to pacify your increasingly clogged arteries by impulsively adding some fruit. Sadly half the time said fruit never gets eaten because a) I am not at home half the week b) I already have fruit in my fridge and c) sometimes an apple is just not a good substitute for a twix. So then I end up feeling guilty for letting perfectly good fruit go to waste because some things just don’t freeze very well unless you are planning to make a whole lot of smoothies.
Instead I decided to use some of my slightly overripe strawberries up by turning them into a lovely pastry covered treat. Clearly these needed something creamy because strawberries without cream are basically sacrilege as far as I am concerned. However, cream doesn’t really tolerate heat all that well, so cream cheese seemed like the logical substitute, feel free to add actual cream to the finished product though. These really should be eaten while still hot, ideally with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and some extra strawberries.
1 sheet puff pastry
200g strawberries (the exact weight doesn’t matter but you will need about 1 medium sized strawberry per pastry and it is quite nice to have some extra ones as garnish)
100g cream cheese
2 tbsp icing sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp sugar
1. Using a glass or cookie cutter, cut an even number of circles out of your pastry. If you did not buy pre rolled pastry you will need to roll it out quite thinly first.
2. Cover a large baking tray with baking parchment and place half your pastry circles on that. Make sure they have enough space to expand a bit during baking without fusing into a giant pastry pile. Pre-heat your oven to 200C.
3. Now for the fiddly part, get out two glasses/mugs/vessels of your choice and separate your egg so the white is in one and the yolk in the other container. Then transfer half the yolk into the egg white container. If you want to save yourself all that faff just use two whole egg yolks and discard the second egg white.
4. Add cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract to the half yolk and stir everything together until well mixed.
5. Spread about 1 tsp of your cream cheese mix on each pastry circle on your baking tray. Keep some clear space around the edges.
6. Thinly slice your strawberry and also add them to your pastry circle, you will probably only be able to fit one strawberry onto each.
7. Now cover your pastries with the second set of pastry circles and firmly press the edges together. They will separate during baking, but pressing them together in the first place ensures that the top half won’t just slide off.
8. Brush the pastries with the egg yolk and white and sprinkle with sugar. Use a small knife to cut a cross into each pastry.
9. Bake for 20 mins and for optimum deliciousness serve with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.