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Cherry slice

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Serves 4

 

500g/1lb 2oz puff pastry

450g/1lb fresh cherries, halved and stoned

1 orange, zest only

4 tbsp cherry brandy

1 tbsp clear honey

1 tsp cornflour, to thicken

570ml/1 pint double cream, whipped

icing sugar, to dust

How to Create the Dish

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a baking tray with parchment and have another tray and sheet of parchment ready.

 

Roll out the pastry to 5mm/1/4-inch thick and cut to fit the lined baking tray. Prick it all over with a fork. You need enough cooked pastry from which to be able to cut three 15x15cm/6x6in squares.

 

Place the pastry on the lined tray. Put another piece of parchment on top and put the second tray on top of that.

 

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Leave to cool, then trim into three even squares.

 

To make the cherry compôte, put the cherries in a pan with the orange zest, cherry brandy and honey. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about five minutes, until the cherries have softened but still hold their shape. Strain the juices off and return these to the pan. Set the cherries aside.

 

Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a runny paste, then add to the liquid in the pan. Whisk over a high heat until the liquid thickens. Return the cherries to the pan and mix. Leave to cool.

 

When you are ready to assemble the cake, whip the cream until firm peaks form when the whisk is lifted. Put out four tablespoons in a bowl for later.

 

Gently fold two-thirds of the cherry compôte into the cream. Place one of the pastry squares on a board. Top with half of the cherry cream mix. Put a second pastry square on top, then the other half of the mix, then top with the last pastry sheet. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour to set.

 

To serve, place the cake on a serving plate. Cover the sides of the cake with the remaining cream. Dredge the top with icing sugar. Carefully heat a skewer in a gas flame, then scorch a line across the surface of the cake, repeating to create a criss-cross pattern. Decorate with the remaining compôte.

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