Thursday, 24 November 2011
Emergency Pudding - Mixed Berry Samosas
Pud (or dessert for American viewers) is pretty important to some in this house and whilst I enjoy creating something when I have the time to, there are occasions when it's the afterthought after cooking the main meal. Often I would skip the pud as it is not crucial to me personally but there are others for which a meal is not a meal without a sweet conclusion. That being the case and the fact that the previous day I had failed to produce something resembling 'dessert' meant that however haphazard, on the hoof and possibly ill conceived, something had to be done.
Inspiration came from the depths of the freezer in the form of a bag of frozen mixed berries and some sorry looking filo pastry leftover from a baklava adventure. I set to work, mostly by instinct as you will see from the vagaries of the ingredient list below and produced something pretty OK. Crisp crunch of filo, hot, slightly sour (in a nice way) berries tempered by sweet custard, though if I had my way it would have been vanilla ice cream to accompany them. I love hot and cold combinations, but we are Brits and custard is the choice of many, not least Phill. I aim to please.
Now I am thinking about it, I would produce these again as humorous dessert after an Indian meal. I would opt perhaps for a sweetened mango filling and I would serve with a generous spoonful of kulfi to create the sweet/crisp/cold experience that I love.
As I say, there is a certain flexibility about the ingredients here. I'm pretty sure you could use any fruit combination you were in favour of. I imagination apple and cinnamon would be extraordinarily delish, but you're in charge. Think of the filling of any crumble that you enjoy and then just start folding away.
Mixed Berry Samosas - makes 9 - 12, depending on your generosity
500g bag of mixed berries, defrosted if frozen
a few drops of vanilla
a pinch of cinnamon
sugar to taste (I used about 150g but it was a sour mix of berries. You need to add a bit and taste the mixture until you're happy with the sweetness).
3 - 4 sheets of filo pastry, defrosted if frozen
about 100g of melted butter
extra sugar for sprinkling
Prepare your fruit filling. With defrosted berries I just mixed the vanilla, cinnamon and the sugar in and tasted until I was happy with the filling. With bigger, harder fruit I suggest cooking the fruit through and allowing the mixture to cool. The cooking time is only 10 minutes once the samosas are made and any fruit that is raw or hard to begin with won't get cooked or warmed through.
Lay out the filo one piece at a time. Keep the other sheets under a damp cloth to stop them drying out. Cut each sheet into three and brush liberally all over with melted butter.
Put a generous teaspoon full, maybe two, of the mixture onto the filo. Working quickly, fold the filo over in a fashion which creates triangles, that is, fold a lower corner over the mixture and over towards the opposite edge of the filo. This should create a triangle shape. Then fold the triangle upwards and then over to the side, following this pattern until you find yourself at the top of the pastry. Ensure you press the edges of the samosa down as you fold to try to cut down on the escape of the filling. Two things are certain: Number one, by the last one you will have perfected your folding techniques and number two, they will look ramshackle and delightfully homemade. Part of their charm if you ask me.
Once folded, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Put in a preheated oven, 180c, for about 10 - 15 minutes. Keep checking them. They're done when the pastry is golden and the filling, if you can see it is hot and/or bubbling.
Let cool for 5 or 10 minutes or so, then serve with custard, cream, or, if you're me, vanilla ice cream.