Peach Puffs

Tasty little pastries filled with peaches poached in white wine, Peach Puffs may be served hot with Cretne a la Vanille as a dessert, or cold with tea or coffee. If you like, reserve the peach cooking liquid and thicken it with

2 teaspoons of arrowroot. It may then be served as a sauce.

10 fl. oz. dry white wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoons soft brown sugar

4 small fresh peaches, blanched, peeled, halved and stoned

4 tablespoons sultanas or seedless raisins

PASTRY

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons castor sugar

1 oz. butter

3 to

4 tablespoons iced water

1 egg yolk, well beaten with

2 tablespoons milk

In a large saucepan, combine the wine, lemon juice, allspice and sugar. Set the pan over moderately low heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.

Place the peaches, cut sides down, in one layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan and poach the peaches for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are just tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the pan from the heat and set the peaches aside to cool completely in the cooking liquid.

While the peaches are cooling, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the castor sugar.

Add the 4 ounces of butter to the flour mixture and, with a table knife, cut it into walnut-sized pieces. Add

Versatile Peach Puffs may be served with custard as a dessert, or as a snack with coffee or tea.

1 tablespoons of the water and, using the knife, mix it quickly into the dough, which should be lumpy. If the dough looks too dry, add a little more of the water.

Shape the dough into a ball and place it on a lightly floured board or marble slab. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into an oblong. Fold the dough in three and turn it so that the open ends face you. Roll it out again into an oblong. Repeat the folding and rolling process twice more, reflouring the board or slab if the dough sticks. Fold the dough in three once more and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. If the dough looks streaky, roll it out into an oblong and fold it in three once again. Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured board or marble slab, roll out one half of the dough into a large circle approximately

½ inch thick. Using a

3-inch round pastry cutter, cut out circles. Roll out the remaining dough in the same way. With a 4-inch round pastry cutter, cut out another 8 circles.

Discard any leftover dough and set the circles aside.

With a slotted spoon, remove the peach halves from the cooking liquid and drain them well on kitchen paper towels. Discard the cooking liquid.

Place the 3-inch dough circles on a working surface. Put tablespoon of the sultanas or seedless raisins in the centre of each circle. Place a peach half, cut side down, in the centre of each dough circle. The sultanas or raisins should fit inside the cavities of the peach halves.

Place the 4-inch dough circles over the peach halves and crimp the edges of the dough circles together to seal them.

Carefully transfer the circles to a large baking sheet, spacing them slightly apart. With a pastry brush, brush the dough with the egg yolk and milk mixture. Sprinkle over the remaining castor sugar.

Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake the pastries for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are puffed up and golden.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Carefully transfer the pastries to a wire rack. Serve them hot, or cool com-pletely before serving.

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