Are you making a special meal for your sweetheart on Valentines day? If they love light pastries like I do give a try to these fail-safe little flaky pastry hearts. They are incredibly easy to make if you buy your puff pastry rather than making it from scratch.
I don’t have a very sweet tooth. Once in a while I may crave something quite sweet but usually it’s a light cake with no icing, or pastry with light cream and fruit that I crave. this one is just the perfect one for me. The hint of rosewater in these little flaky pastries reminds me of Iranian pastries and a place that was once my “home”.
I have made these many times before except that this time I’m making them heart-shaped because valentines day is just round the corner. They kind of taste like pastries from confectionary shops in Tehran where I lived for many years. Life has funny turns. I never thought I’d move to a different country at the age of fifty. But I did, and here I am, living in a small English town. I’m loving it, don’t get me wrong. But I do miss my friends and family and a few other things including pastries.
Anyways, if I’ve tempted you to make my easy pastries all you really need to do is take a trip to your local supermarket, buy a sheet of puff pastry (I bought the lighter version), a bottle of rosewater, a pot of heavy cream and a punnet of raspberries or strawberries. If you don’t have vanilla paste (or extract) and icing sugar throw those on the list too.
I used a heart-shaped cutter because I happened to have one but don’t fret if you don’t have a heart-shaped cutter. The pastry will taste the same in whatever shape you cut it!
I like to prick the top of the pastry with a fork. It looks prettier right away, doesn’t it?
You can whip your cream once you put the pastry in the oven. Before I forget, use the regular setting of the oven. Baking puff-pastry in fan-assisted mode is disastrous. I did that once and the air blew all the layers of the pastry over! Instead of well-risen puff pastry I ended up with layers of pastry spread all over the baking sheet.
The pastry hearts looked already gorgeous when they finished baking. I could use them in other ways too but the plan was to fill them with a chantilly cream faintly scented with rosewater and vanilla (I adore the flavour combination). So I started whipping the chilled cream. If you don’t like rosewater or can’t find it use only vanilla. That works really well too.
I use rosewater because it tastes and smells lovely and also because it’s so nostalgic for me. The scent takes me back to cherished days when friends and colleagues brought pastries like these to work to announce an engagement, or to celebrate with others the buying of a house, success in a test, etc.
We had fresh pastries at the office almost every day. If nobody had got engaged or done something that merited buying pastries we’d just create an excuse for celebration and send the office man to the near-by confectionary shop. Then there would be coffee and laughter and quite a lot of fun. Oh, good old days…
Back to business now: Depending on the size of your cutter you can get about 15 small or 10 larger pastries from one sheet of shop-bought puff pastry. Size doesn’t really matter. Make them as big or as small as you like.