Berries & Cream Pastries

Filling but not too sweet, these treats won't leave you with a sugar headache

Photograph by Kelly Wirht

Ingredients

Puff pastry sheets

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

Zest and juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

Blueberries and sliced strawberries

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

2. Place the raw puff pastry on wax paper. Cut out stars with your cookie cutters. Be careful as you're cutting; it helps to pick up the star and work the dough through the cutter so that the layers don't fall apart. After the star's been cut out, you might need to form the corners back into perfect points.

3. Bake until the stars' points are golden brown—about 10 to 12 minutes. Not only are the gold corners a good sign that they're done cooking, but they also give a nice, crisp look to the final product.

4. Cool the stars on a wire rack until you're done making the cream spread. It's best to assemble the pastries right before serving, but both the stars and the cream spread can be made in advance. If you're going to put the whole thing together later, just refrigerate each part until you're ready to assemble.

5. To make the lemon curd, stir the cream cheese and sugar together until totally creamy. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.

6. In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

7. Fold the cream cheese mixture into the whipped cream. If the puff pastry is cooked, you can use it immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate until the puff pastry is done baking (or you're ready to assemble the pastries).

8. When you're ready to assemble the pastries, split the top half of the stars from the bottom (the layers in the puff pastry will make this easy).

9. Make your own icing bag: Spoon the cream into a plastic bag, close the top and make a tiny snip at one of the corners. You'll just squeeze the bag to get the cream out.

10. Apply cream to the puff pastry stars using a circular motion to create a dollop.

11. Start decorating! Put your blueberries and sliced strawberries on top of the cream. Make a sandwich if you'd like by topping off the fruit and cream with another star half.

12. Enjoy!

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