Valentines day is just around the corner and here’s a cute and romantic idea that won’t take up a huge amount of your time either making or baking, thereby leaving loads of time for more romantic pursuits.
These Love Letter pastries are made from a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry, but you can make your own if you prefer. An all-butter sheet will have a great flavour, but other fat/flour combinations can also be surprisingly tasty.
One sheet will make six of these pastries, but since the inside of the roll tends to get a bit squished, I mae just four, and use the offcut for decorations.
The best thing about these pastries is that they are baked without filling, but with a small ball of lightly-crumpled baking parchment inside, to form a pocket for whatever you care to use. As you can see in the photo, I’ve chosen one sweet and one savoury, cold fillings contrasting delightfully with the warm, crisp pastry, but anything goes.
Other suggestions for hot fillings might include caramelised onions, mushrooms and cheese, scrambled egg with smoked salmon, warm fruit compote or apple pie filling with whipped cream.
Love Letter Pastries
1 sheet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg for glazing
Fillings of choice
- Cut four (then you can use the best two) squares of pastry from the sheet.
- For each Love Letter Pastry:
- Scrunch up some baking parchment and place it in the middle of the square of pastry.
- a, b & c Damp the edges of the pastry and fold the left, bottom and right corners inward, overlapping slightly. Press to seal. Adjust the piece of parchment if necessary so that it can be removed easily.
- Prick the remaining exposed pastry to prevent it puffing up too much during baking.
- Cut a heart out of the spare pastry and lay it on the place where the corners meet as a ‘seal’.
- Place the pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment.
- Heat the oven to 200°C, 180°C Fan.
- When the oven is at temperature, whisk the egg and glaze the pastry.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, turning the baking sheet around after 10 minutes to ensure even colouring.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- When cooled, gently remove the parchment and discard. I’ve found the most effective method is to use the handle of a teaspoon to separate the cooked pastry from the parchment first, before trying to pull it out.
- Fill generously and serve to your loved one.
You can bake these the day before, and store in an airtight container. To warm, place on a baking sheet and put into a cold oven. Turn the heat to 150°C, 130°C Fan for 10 minutes.