Pen Chiap Flan 0007

This is Emi’s twist on the classic Italian dessert, millefoglie. It is much quicker to make than the traditional version, which is often served at the many christenings and wedding we attend every summer in Italy. It’s so delicious that Miki and Emi chose this for their wedding cake: a one-metre-square millefoglie covered with masses of fruits of the forest! Recipe from Simply Italian: Cooking with the Chiappa Sisters.

Serves 4
Icing sugar, to dust
250g ready-rolled puff pastry
1 medium egg, preferably free-range or organic
120g fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry, hulled and sliced
120g raspberries, washed and patted dry
120g blueberries, washed and patted dry
2 tablespoons caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, slit lengthways and seeds scraped out
2 tablespoons double cream

Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6. On a work surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the pastry until it is 0.5cm thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 8 rectangles about 7cm x 10cm. Cut out the centre of 4 of the pastry rectangles, so you are left with 1cm-wide frames.

Beat the egg and brush over the 4 complete rectangles. Place a pastry frame on top of each and prick the base inside the frame with a fork. This will prevent it rising up during cooking. Place the pastry rectangles on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes (this may vary depending on the pastry; check the packet for cooking instructions), until the sides have risen and the pastry is golden brown. Set aside and leave to cool.

Meanwhile, place the berries in a bowl, sprinkle with the caster sugar and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the mascarpone, lemon zest and vanilla seeds, until well combined. Stir in the cream. When the pastry cases have cooled, if the base has risen a little inside the frame, push the pastry back down. Spread a generous layer of mascarpone cream across the base of the pastry, top with a layer of berries and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the juice. Repeat with the rest of the pastry cases, dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Tip: In the summer, juicy peaches work really well in this dessert.