The first time I made these little pockets of pastry and custard goodness was in the French Patisserie class I took last year.
Yesterday, I had a little craving for something sweet (in particular, strawberries and custard or as the French call it - creme patissiere) and decided to make what I have now dubbed as 'the easiest but incredibly delicious strawberry pastry ever'. In fact, don't take my word for it - my cousin actually said to me today that, out of all my desserts, these were the best he has had. Apparently, spending hours in the kitchen on complicated recipes do not mean anything to him!
The creme patissiere really makes this dessert special, so spend the 10 minutes making it and please don't buy the pre-made kind. The cherry jelly is optional and I only made it because I had leftover cherry syrup from the black forest cake I made last week. It doesn't really add anything extra to the overall taste. Oh and the best thing about this dessert? You can pretty much top it with any fruit you like.
Ingredients (makes approx 8 or 9 pastries):
- 2 or 3 sheets of frozen puff pastry
- 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 generous tablespoon of plain flour
- 250ml full cream milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- A little milk
1. Place the milk and vanilla into a saucepan and bring to boil.
2. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk well.
3. Pour the boiling milk into the eggs as you mix and return the mixture back on to the stove and keep stirring until it thickens. (Don't forget the edges!)
4. Remove from the stove and pour into a sieve.
5. Cool it down by placing it over an ice bath
Puff Pastry Pockets (preheat oven to 200 degrees)
1. Let frozen pastry thaw and cut out as many circles as you can.
2. Keep half the circles aside for the base and cut out a smaller circle out of the other half.
3. Brush the base with some milk and stick on the circle cut outs. Brush again with milk and sprinkle sugar on top
4. Place in the oven for approx 15 mins or until golden.
5. Let the pockets cool down slightly and then take a sharp knife and trace around the small circle puff and remove the 'lid'. Feel free to snack on the lids :)
Cherry Jelly (optional)
I used a sheet of geletin and followed the instructions - 200ml of water to each sheet. I added water to the cherry syrup to make 200ml and brought it to boil. I then added the geletin sheet and poured it into the moulds.
1. Spoon the cream patissiere into the pastry pockets.
2. Top with fresh strawberries and sprinkle with some icing sugar and add cherry jelly.
3. Savour the crunchy sweet pastry together with the thick creamy vanilla custard and juicy fruit.... mmmm
Oh and another good thing about this amazing dessert? The pastry is still as crispy after being in the fridge overnight :)