It's strawberry time and what could be more more delicious than strawberries and cream encased in crispy dessert pastry? Use ready-made pastry for a quickly put together sweet canapé and make them a little larger for a quick and easy strawberry dessert. The flaked almonds not only add even more crunch but also help to keep the filling from softening the pastry. You can bake any left over pieces of pastry and make very tasty little biscuits too.
Ingredients (24 tartlets)
1/2 pack ready-made dessert pastry
1 lightly beaten egg white
2 tbs flaked almonds (heaped)
1 tbs caster sugar
200g strawberries (or other berries)
200ml whipped double cream
Small mint leaves
Preheat oven 180/ fan 160
Roll out pastry and cut circles
Line mini tart tins with pastry, carefully pressing down.
Brush pastry rounds with lightly beaten egg white.
Sprinkle each round generously with flaked almonds and then caster sugar.
Bake for approx 10-12 minutes, until they are golden (keep a check, they burn easily).
Cool and store in a tin (they will keep several days)
Fill with the cream, a couple of raspberries and a small mint sprig/leaf.
Store in a cool place until required. Can be prepared 2 hours in advance (or more if you don't mind them a little softer)
Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Sweet shortcrust pastry (using a food processor)
This will make more than is needed for 24 cases. It can be frozen for another occasion.
Pastry ingredients (if you want to make your own pastry)
250 gms plain flour
100 gms caster sugar
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
140 gms butter, diced and slightly softened
45 mls cold water
Place the flour, sugar, salt and egg yolk into the food processor bowl and blend for 30 seconds. Add the diced butter and blend further, slowly pouring the water in through the feeder tube. Stop blending as soon as the dough forms a ball.
Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Top tip: if your pastry is being really tricky to roll out, try placing it between 2 large pieces of cling film and then rolling it.