- 300 g fresh English strawberries, ripe, hulled and sliced
- 560 ml double cream, very lightly whipped
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- 4 tbsp good quality strawberry jam
- 8 tbsp fondant sugar
- ½ tsp pink colouring
- 6 tbsp flaked almonds, lightly browned
- Preheat the oven to 200C, Gas 6.
- Unwrap the puff pastry carefully, and reroll nice and thin.
- Place on a baking sheet and dock really well with a fork.
- Pop the pastry in the hot oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until nicely risen and golden brown.
- Take care with puff pastry: it tends to burn very quickly once you take your eye off it, remove it from the oven, transfer it to a cooling rack and cool. You must cook it right through. This is very important.
- Next, place the vanilla and cream into a bowl and whip, but do not over whip. Keep as cold as possible.
- Once cooked and cooled, cut the pastry into three equal pieces lengthways.
- Spread two of the layers of pastry with jam. This is a novel idea; not only does it sweeten the dessert, but it also brings out the flavour of the strawberries. Don't skimp on the jam. Place the strawberries on top of the jam.
- Using a palette knife, spread a thick layer of whipped double cream on top of the strawberries and jam. Then carefully, using a palette knife, lift one of the strips of pastry on top of the other and nestle down nicely.
- Mix the fondant icing sugar with a little water or lemon or lime juice and spread over the last pastry slice.
- Quickly mix the pink colouring with a little of the fondant sugar.
- Using a small paper-piping bag, pipe lines about 1cm apart along with the fondant.
- With a knife or skewer, swipe through both icings, leaving a 1-2 cm gap.
- Turn the board around and swipe the other way to get a zig-zag effect.
- Put the final fondant iced piece of puff pastry on top.
- Using the palette knife, scrape any excess cream from the bowl and the edge of the pastry. Carefully fill in the gaps around the layers of pastry and strawberries until nice and tidy.
- Carefully stick the browned almonds to the outside of the pastry.
- Chill until the fondant is set, press lightly and slice.
- Serve with double cream left over and strawberry sauce.
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