I recently got to spend a few days with my first culinary partner in crime. As university housemates, Karen and I shared a strong enthusiasm for procrastination by cooking, always accompanied by many cups of tea. Being in the kitchen with her this spring brought back so many delicious memories and inspired a number of the recipes I have posted lately, including this delightful dessert. Brightly coloured, tangy flavoured lemon curd is sandwiched between delicate, flaky pastry layers to make perfect little bites that would be ideal for a tea party or as a light dessert after a big meal. The puffs can be baked ahead of time but should be served within an hour of filling. Not quite a cookie, not quite a pie…these little beauties are hard to classify, but easy to make and oh so pretty!
- 1 package (400 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed but still cold
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) icing (powdered) sugar
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) super fine (caster) sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) super fine (caster) sugar
One batch lemon curd.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Zest lemons, putting zest in a small bowl.
- Dust your countertop lightly with icing sugar. Divide puff pastry into two equal portions and roll each one out to an 8 inch (20 cm) square.
- Mix the reserved lemon zest with 2 tablespoons (28 g) superfine sugar and sprinkle over each sheet of puff pastry.
- Carefully lift one of the sheets and place it on top of the other, with both sugared sides facing up.
- Continue rolling out the stacked pastry so it almost doubles in size (your goal is to have a square that is approximately 14 inches (35 cm).
- With a 2” (5 cm) round pastry cutter (use a drinking glass if you don’t have a cutter), cut out 24 circles in the dough (you may be able to cut more than this if you’re careful).
- Transfer the cut circles to the lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
- Lightly prick the tops of each circle several times with a fork.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes; they should puff up and turn light brown.
- While the puffs are baking, whisk together the egg yolk and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) sugar.
- After the puffs have baked for 8 minutes, brush the top of each one with the egg yolk mixture and return the trays to the oven for a further 3-4 minutes until crisp and golden, but watch them carefully to be sure they do not burn.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Split the cooled pastries in half with a sharp knife and slather the lemon curd in the centre, sandwiching the halves back together.
Makes 24 little puffs.