Treat yourself this winter with something sweet. Here’s some unique ways to create pastry goodness
Mini Pear Strudels (vegetarian)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 2 Waitrose & Partners Conference Pears, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
- 50g raisins
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- ½ lemon, juice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 sheets filo pastry
- 50g unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Toss the pears, raisins, 1 tbsp caster sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Lay out the pastry on a clean work surface and cover with cling film.
- Take 1 sheet of filo and lay out with one of the shorter ends towards you; brush all over lightly with melted butter. Spoon ¹⁄ ³ of the pear mixture in a horizontal line at the bottom of the sheet. Roll up like a cigar, trim the ends, and then cut in half. Reshape to keep the cylindrical shape then make 2 slits at the top (to let the steam escape). Brush lightly all over with butter, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filo and fruit until you have 6 small strudels all lightly brushed with butter.
- Sprinkle over the remaining ½ tbsp sugar; bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Cook’s tip: Replace the raisins with Cooks’ Ingredients Dark Chocolate Chips for more indulgent strudels.
Blueberry Cheesecake Slices
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 225g Waitrose & Partners Blueberries
- 1½ tbsp maple syrup
- 1 orange, zest
- Pinch salt
- 60g creamy soft cheese
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 British Blacktail Medium Free Range Egg, beaten
- 215g sheet Cooks’ Ingredients frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- Put the blueberries in a pan with 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp water, the orange zest and a pinch of salt. Simmer briskly until soft and jammy, about 4-5 minutes; tip into a bowl and set aside to cool, then chill. Meanwhile, mix the soft cheese, vanilla and remaining ½ tbsp maple syrup; set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6; put a large fl at baking sheet in the oven to heat up. Unroll the pastry and use a knife to cut it into 4 rectangles, each about 12cm x 15cm. Transfer to a fresh sheet of baking parchment. Brush the edges of each rectangle with egg. Divide the blueberries between them (strain off any excess liquid), making sure there’s a 1½ cm border around the edges and piling up to one side. Add a spoonful of the soft cheese mixture on top.
- Fold the pastry over like a book and seal the edges with a fork. Brush the tops with egg and cut a few slits to let the steam escape. Sprinkle with sugar, then slide the parchment onto the hot baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, though the slices can also be served at room temperature.
Cook’s tip: For an extra kick of flavour, mix the sugar with ½ tsp ground cinnamon before sprinkling over the top.
Maple-glazed Pineapple Tarts (vegetarian)
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
- 1 small essential Supersweet Waitrose Pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 320g pack Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry sheet, left at room temperature for 15 minutes
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Vanilla ice cream, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place the pineapple slices, sugar, vanilla seeds and butter in a large bowl and gently stir, coating all the pineapple.
- Cut the pastry sheet into 4 equal rectangles. Arrange the slices of pineapple on the centre of each pastry, leaving about 3cm of clear pastry around the edge. Fold in the edges in a neat rectangle, making a pinch in each corner.
- Place on the baking tray and brush the pastry with a little milk. Bake for 25 minutes until the pastry is golden, then drizzle over the maple syrup and return to the oven for 5–10 minutes until the pineapple is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes