Doesn’t this photo just say it all. Summer on a plate. I defy anyone not to dive in when a platter of these makes its appearance at any summer party. I can barely believe that these were an afterthought. They were the leftovers from a batch of puff pastry I made destined for savoury tarts for lunch. And while the pastry takes a little time to make (if not very much effort) it is also possible to buy good quality puff pastry from the freezer section of supermarkets. Or specialist bakers such as Baker&Spice in London. Make sure you go for the all butter kind.
Once you have your puff pastry, made or bought, these little temptations are simplicity itself to make, leaving you looking like you’ve just popped out to a fabulous Parisian bakery for the edible edification of your guests, even if you are in the middle of the West Country.
Or maybe not. Their official French name is Feuilletees, a version of the more well known mille-feuille (or thousand leaves). They are generally little individual sized portions of rectangles of puff pastry, brushed with an egg glaze and baked at 220*C for 12 -15 minutes, then split in half and filled with sweetened cream and fresh fruit. So far so good. But had these truly come from a French Patisserie I have no doubt they would all be perfectly uniform and would not dare to have a single one of their thousand layers out of place.
Mine, on the other hand, reflect their maker, far from perfect, wildly undisciplined, wandering off at a tangent (that’s what happens when you use scraps of puff pastry), and filled to bursting with sunshine, joie-de-vivre, a touch of tart sweetness, and a little bit of whimsy. The sunshine and happiness come from the fact that there is actually some sunshine today. Hooray! The tart sweetness comes from handpicked berries from the kitchen garden, and the whimsy (without which I would be lost) is the fragrant promise of fresh mint, the smell, rather than the taste infusing the whole.
Actually, they make me think of deck chairs and floaty dresses, glasses of Pimms and Sunday afternoon cricket. Not French at all then. But very very Somerset. There are some times when it is well worth being British.
This is my entry for Jeanne, Johannna and Andrew’s WTSIM… event. This month it is hosted by Jeanne and the theme is Berried Treasure. For once my only problem with entering an event was choosing what to post about. I can’t wait for the roundup as it s my considered opinion that you can never have to many things to make with berries.