Over the years these almondy hearts have been the answer to our search for a frugal, make-ahead pudding that looks completely beautiful. They can be pulled together almost entirely from the store cupboard, using a pack of puff pastry, some marzipan and any fruit you have in the bowl. These not only look totally divine but they are easy to make too! By using some pre-made puff pastry these hearts full of fruit don’t take much time but will impress friends! The perfect summer dessert…
Makes 6 hearts.
What you need:
1 x 12cm and 1 x 9cm heart-shaped cutter (or make your own templates – see tip, below)
375g all-butter puff pastry
A little plain flour, for dusting
1 medium egg yolk, lightly beaten
Icing sugar, for dusting
175g white marzipan
A small selection of fruit: berries, freshly sliced nectarines, peeled and sliced eating apples
25g butter, melted
3 tbsp caster sugar
What to do:
1. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to 5–6mm thick. Using your larger cutter or template, cut out six heart shapes. Place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper and brush each one with beaten egg yolk.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan to about 4mm thick. Cut out six hearts, using the smaller cutter or template. Place your marzipan hearts on top of the pastry.
3. Arrange a handful of berries or sliced fruit on each marzipan heart. Brush the fruit with melted butter and sprinkle with the caster sugar.
4. Bake in the oven for15–20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the fruit has begun to caramelise. Serve warm.
To make your own templates, use thin cardboard such as an empty cereal packet. Draw a heart shape 12cm across at its widest point and the same lengthways. Alongside it, draw a second heart shape, 1.5cm smaller all round than the first one (therefore 9cm across at its widest point).
Cut out both shapes.
Recipes from the Higgidy Cookbook (Quercus). Visit www.higgidy.co.uk for more recipes and inspiration.