Orange flour

Cherry and Blueberry Frangipane Plait

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… with white chocolate drizzle, served with vanilla cream.

Once the summer arrives, people tend to gravitate towards simple fruit salads, light panna cottas, cool ice cream and no bake fruit tarts – all delicious options, but why deprive ourselves from the warm, hearty, going-back-for-more puddings of winter for 6 months of the year?! I have never been able to resist buttery pastry, rich chocolate and warm fruit all drowned in a pool of thick custard. This dessert is the best of both worlds – a lighter version of a winter pud, with a sweet vanilla cream in the place of heavy custard. Delicious served warm or cold on a summers evening.

NOTE: you could make small individual ones as I have done, or 1 large plait to be cut into portions.

NOTE 2: the measurements in this recipe will probably make quite a lot of the plaits, depending on how big you wish them to be. I used standard pastry and frangipane recipes when making mine and was left with lots of frangipane.  If you are just making 3 or 4 for dessert after a meal then be warned, you may have pastry and frangipane left over!

Ingredients:

puff pastry:
200g strong flour + pinch of salt

200g butter, softened slightly
125ml ice-cold water + few drops lemon juice


frangipane:
4oz butter
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs
4oz ground almonds
1oz plain flour

vanilla cream:
1 vanilla pod (or vanilla extract)
150ml double cream
1/2tsp sugar

berry jam

fresh cherries (halved and pip removed)
fresh blueberries
white chocolate

Method:

(preheat oven to 200*c)

vanilla cream:

– prepare the vanilla cream by slicing your vanilla pod in half lengthways and scraping out the seeds
– place the cream, sugar and seeds in a small pan and gently heat to infuse for 5 minutes
– set aside to cool and then refrigerate until needed for serving

puff pastry:

– sieve the flour into a bowl

– cut 50g of the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour with your fingertips
– gradually stir in the water and bring together to form a soft dough
– turn out onto a well floured surface and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until firm and pliable
– wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes

– after 30 minutes, remove from the fridge

– cut a cross shape halfway deep through the dough and pull out the 4 corners to form a cross shape
– roll out the points of the cross shape, leaving the centre thick
– place the remaining 150g butter between 2 sheets of greaseproof paper and roll to the same size as the thick section in the middle of the cross shaped dough
– place the butter on the centre section of the dough and fold over the flaps
– roll out to approximately 30 x 15 cm, cover with cling film and place back in the fridge for 10 minutes
– after 10 minutes, remove from fridge and roll out further to approximately 60 x 20 cm
– fold both ends of the dough into the centre and then fold in half again to form a square
– cover with cling film and return to the fridge for 20 minutes
– after 20 minutes, remove from fridge and place the square on the surface in front of you with the 2 folded edges positioned at the sides (as opposed to at the top and bottom of the square when placed in front of you)
– roll the dough out to stretch it lengthways to 60 cm, keeping the width at the original 20 cm
– cover in cling film and return to the fridge for 20 minutes
– repeat this process a further 2 times
– allow to rest in the fridge for at least 20 minutes before using
* when rolling out the pastry, do so carefully – the lightness of the puff pastry is mainly due to the air which is trapped when folding the pastry and heavy handed rolling will knock this air out.
frangipane:

– for the frangipane, cream together the butter and sugar
– add the eggs one at a time
– stir in the ground almonds and flour

assembly:
– after 30 minutes, remove the puff pastry from the fridge and roll out on a well floured surface to about 2mm thick
– cut several 12cm square pieces of the pastry and take away any left over pastry
– lightly score the squares of pastry vertically into 3 equal sections
– slice the 2 end sections horizontally into 4 equal strips
– spread a little jam and then some frangipane down the centre of the middle strip of pastry – don’t spread it right to the edge as it will spread in the oven
– cover the frangipane with fresh cherries and blueberries
– fold in the strips of pastry from the 2 side sections, alternating each side (top left, top right, 2nd left, 2nd right and so on) to create a plait pattern
– place the plaits on a baking tray, sprinkle over flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden and flaky

– when out of the oven, leave to cool slightly while you melt the white chocolate in a bain marie(this dessert doesn’t need to be served piping hot)
– drizzle with white chocolate and place each plait in a bowl
– serve with extra fresh cherries and blueberries and the chilled vanilla cream (or alternatively, you could serve with ice cream)

NOTE 3: for a winter version, serve with custard, chocolate sauce or a caramel sauce!

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This entry was posted on April 8, 2013 by in Baking, Dessert, Pastry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .
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