Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Strawberry Palmiers

Servings: Makes about 15 palmiers
These palm-shaped pastries, known as palmiers, are layered with a vanilla-flavored pastry cream and fresh strawberries.

For Palmiers:
1 portion Quick Puff Pastry or 1/2 of a 17 1/4-ounce package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed and unfolded
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Cream and Garnish:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half or light cream
4 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups sliced strawberries
Whole strawberries

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or plain brown paper; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough (or sheet of purchased pastry) into a 14x10-inch rectangle. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over pastry rectangle. Lightly press sugar mixture into the dough. Roll the 2 short sides, jelly-roll style, to meet in the center. Turn pastry roll over and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. If the roll is too soft to slice easily, chill it in freezer for a few minutes. Place slices 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 15-20 minutes, or till golden and crisp. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a rack.

In a heavy medium saucepan stir together sugar, flour, and salt. Slowly stir in half-and-half or light cream. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return all to saucepan. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Transfer pastry cream to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap and cool just till warm without stirring. To assemble, spread about 2 tablespoons of pastry cream over one side of half of the palmiers. Arrange sliced strawberries over pastry cream. Top each with another palmier. Garnish each palmier with a dollop of pastry cream and a whole berry.

Makes about 15 palmiers.

Date: January 11, 2003