Sour cherry & white chocolate pastries

These are very light pastries with the wonderful combination of both sweet and sharp flavours. The sour cherries, having been steeped overnight in rum or Amaretto, pack a lovely punch; the fragrant sharpness of a passion fruit crème pâtissière, enriched with a little white chocolate, offers an indulgently soft filling for the crisp, buttery pastry.

I prefer making these with croissant dough (the croissant recipe is towards the bottom of that post) but they work very well with puff pastry. If using bought puff pastry, do get the all-butter puff pastry as it has an infinitely better flavour than the pastry made without butter. But whichever type of pastry is used, the assembly for these pastries is very easy.

I prefer smaller pastries, each a few bites worth, but you can make them as big as you like.

The crème pâtissière can be made in advance and you can use good quality bought custard instead of crème pâtissière but use less as it will probably be runnier.

The shaped, unbaked pastries freeze beautifully: just remove them from the freezer the night before and bake them whenever you are ready!

Variations:

  • use dried cranberries, raisins or any other dried fruit instead of cherries
  • use dark chocolate in the crème pâtissière
  • use a few chopped nuts instead of (or as well as) the fruit
  • use maple syrup or warmed apricot jam to brush over the pastries instead of the passion fruit syrup

Sour cherry & white chocolate pastries (makes about 25 small pastries)

image

  • about 500g all-butter puff pastry or use half of the batch of croissant dough

For the filling:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 20g plain flour
  • 250g full-cream milk
  • juice of 4 passion fruit
  • 100g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
  • 100g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped and soaked overnight in rum or Amaretto

For the passion fruit syrup:

  • juice of two passion fruit
  • 1 teaspoon liquid glucose

To finish:

  • lightly beaten egg
  • 50g white chocolate, melted

(1) Make the crème pâtissière:  heat the milk in a small pan until it comes to the boil. Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a small bowl until lighter in colour and smooth. Add the flour and whisk in until incorporated. Whisk in the hot milk, return to the pan and place over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time, and simmer gently for about a minute. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and the passion fruit juice, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Pour into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool.

(2) Roll out the pastry to a rectangle approximately 4ocm by 30cm, with the longest edge facing you. Spread the cooled crème pâtissière over the pastry, leaving about a 1cm border from the edge furthest from you. Sprinkle over the sour cherries.

(3) Roll up – not too tightly – and seal underneath at the join. Refrigerate for about an hour until the pastry is firm. Slice into just over 1cm thick circles.

(4) Place the pastry circles on a baking tray lined with silicon mat or a double thickness of greaseproof (to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark while they bake) and refrigerate for about 30 minutes if using puff pastry. If using croissant dough, cover with clingfilm and leave until well risen. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C(fan).

(5) Brush the pastries with beaten egg and bake for about 12-15 mins until golden brown.

(6) While the pastries are baking, make the passion fruit syrup: put the passion fruit juice and liquid glucose in a small bowl and heat in the microwave for about a minute, stirring about half-way through. It won’t go too thick but that is quite right here. Brush the pastries liberally with the syrup as soon as they come out of the oven and leave to cool. Drizzle over the melted white chocolate.

 

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