Quick & easy Cherry, walnut & maple syrup pastries

These are very quick and easy treats: small sweet pastries that are crisp, buttery and wonderfully sticky: quite fabulous served with coffee or tea!

Measurements not essential here!

For pastries such as these, whether sweet or savoury, I confess that I do not measure out the filling ingredients; I just sprinkle over enough to give a light covering of the pastry: this allows the flavours to come through but not so much that the filling falls out when you cut the rolled up dough.

I have, however, given approximate guidelines below, using a small amount of pastry that is quite manageable.

The size your roll out the pastry to is not important: it depends on how much pastry you are using, but aim for more of a square. If you roll out to a rectangle, after topping the pastry, roll up with the width facing you so you get more depth  – and therefore more “whirls”.

Fillings of your own choice!

You can use anything you want to use sprinkle over a mixture of whatever goodies you have to hand: for the pastries in the picture I used Kirsch-soaked dried cherries, walnuts and maple syrup, although I often use cranberries, sultanas, raisins……as I have mentioned in some of my earlier posts, the Whitworths range of nuts and dried fruit is exceptional in baking.

I used a little dark chocolate which I love with walnuts and cherries but a batch I made without the chocolate tasted very good, too.

Mincemeat is terrific, too. If using bought mincemeat, jazz it up by adding some finely grated orange zest, a few chopped nuts of choice, an extra splash of alcohol……

As a savoury version, use grated cheese, caramelised onion and a little smoked ham: seriously fabulous!

Recipe: cherry, walnut & maple syrup pastries – makes about 20 mini pastries

  • about 100g all-butter puff pastry or rough-puff pastry
  • 2-3 tablespoons macerated cherries*, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for glazing
  • about 1 tablespoon finely grated dark chocolate, optional
  • vanilla icing sugar** for dusting, optional

(1) Roll out the pastry thinly to a square.

(2) Sprinkle over the filling ingredients fairly evenly and lightly pat down. Drizzle over the maple syrup. Alternatively, mix the cherries, walnuts and maple syrup together and spread/scatter this mixture gently over the dough.

(3) Roll up fairly tightly to give a cylinder. For perfectly clean cuts, freeze for about an hour until the pastry is firm.

(4) Cut into about 1cm-wide discs with a sharp knife and place a little apart on greaseproof-lined baking trays. Gently press down on top of each to give a more rounded shape.

(5) Bake at 180C(fan) for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.

(6) Remove from the oven, place on cooling racks and brush liberally with maple syrup while the pastries are still hot. Instead of glazing, you could dust vanilla icing sugar liberally over the pastries.

* Pop some dried cherries into a clean jar or bowl and add a generous splash of Kirsch, brandy, rum or whatever you have to hand. Give it all a stir, cover and leave for several days to enable the cherries to soak up that wonderful alcohol. Alternatively, use freshly squeezed orange or clementine juice.

**I keep a jar of icing sugar with a few vanilla pods in there: the sugar takes on the vanilla flavour wonderfully after a few weeks).

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