Friday, 14 September 2012

Szedres papucs - Bramble parcels

The blackberry season is here so were back in Stanmer yesterday foraging for some more free and delicious autumn fruit. They are small and very sweet, perfect for little bite size cakes.
Little parcels or slippers "papucs" as they call them in Hungary  are made with puff pastry. Originally they would have been made with pork fat and flour around the slaughtering season in winter and the most popular filling was the thick and creamy Hungarian plum paste  szilvalekvár - something I have not attempted to make yet, as it involves hours and hours of patient simmering and stirring, and it needs the right sort of plums which are difficult to get hold of in the UK. Similar jams you can buy in Austria and Germany too.  I added blueberry jam to my brambles this time but any home made or shop bought berry jam and fresh or frozen berries (completely thawed) will be perfect as long as you add some starch to the mix to hold it together. I used ground arrowroot (tapioca starch) which keeps a clear colour so good with fruit. These can be found in little sachets in supermarket bakery sections. If you use really thick jams, you wouldn't even have to bother with starch. Ready rolled puff pastry makes this a really quick and easy dessert. Dust it with cinnamony icing sugar and eat it warm dipped into some chantilly cream.

1 packet of ready rolled puff pastry (at room temperature) 
250g blackberries
3 tbsp blueberry jam
grated zest of a lemon
1tbsp (1sachet) ground arrowroot
1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Wash and dry the blackberries on paper towel and chop them up if they are too big - supermarket berries tend to be huge! Mix them with the blueberry jam, lemon zest and ground arrowroot. Unroll the pastry sheet and cut it into 15 squares (about 7cmx7cm). Lightly beat the egg white and brush the pastry squares edges with it. Put a generous teaspoon of  berry mix on each square and spread it evenly, leaving the brushed edges free. Place a little knob of butter on top of the fruit mix. Fold two opposite corners of the square on top of each other, press the corners lightly together and place them onto a lined baking sheet. Brush the top with more egg white and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden colour. 

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