Favourite Party Cheats’

There are so many cookery books called things like ‘Cooking in a Hurry’ or ‘Quick Meals’ or ‘Favourite Party Cheats’ (I’ve made those titles up!) and i sometimes feel that some people think it’s almost a sin to take shortcuts, but honestly we all do – we don’t take pints of milk and churn our own butter, and even though I have made my own yoghurt and had a patch where I made it all the time I still had failures or it had a peculiar taste and I went and bought some. Cooking ‘authentically’ is wonderful if you have the time – or if you have the skills and some people don’t have much of either! I love cooking but there  are some things I’m hopeless at so don’t ever make having had so much disappointment in the past… humus, so easy, but so tricky! The times I’ve made it and then felt I had to eat it because it would be wasteful to chuck it when really it’s rather nasty.

So back in my mum’s old recipe scrapbook, here’s a quick dessert/afternoon tea item which is guaranteed successful – and actually sounds rather delicious!

Lemon and strawberry slices

  • 8 oz pack of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • ¼ pint whipping cream, whipped with
  • ½ tsp castor sugar
  • 4 oz lemon cheese – i.e. lemon curd
  • ½ tin (14 oz tin) strawberry pie filling (or any you fancy, raspberry would be nice, or apricot, or cherry, or use actual fresh fruit!)
  1. roll out the thawed pastry into an 8×11″ oblong, trim to neaten, then cut into 5 equal oblongs
  2. put on a baking sheet, brush with water and bake in a pre-heated oven 230º C, 450º F, gas mark 8 for 15 mins until risen and golden, place on a cooling rack
  3. stir lemon cheese/curd into the whipped cream
  4. split each pastry into two, fill with a layer of pie filling and then the lemon cream
  5. serve chilled

The appearance sounds rather dull so I might brush the pastry with an egg wash before baking , or when they are filled dust with icing sugar, or spread with a thin icing, or pipe a little cream on top – or lemon curd/cheese and decorate with fruit.

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