I just couldn’t let Valentine’s Day creep by without one more last-minute contender in my favorite heart recipe category.
I got all inspired to create this today when I had some left over puff pastry I was using for an upcoming post that is polar opposite of this one. But I didn’t want the leftover, thawed pastry to go to waste. BOOM! Inspiration. The cookie cutters were still out, littering the countertop after our Valentine’s Sugar Cookie baking extravaganza, so how about some heart-shaped puffs sprinkled with sugar sweetness. Okay, good to go.
Now what to add to my little heart cuties?
Earlier in the day Smudge was bugging me to make, oh what was that? Yes, her usual obsession: Pie. She was trolling through her kid’s pie cookbook and lit upon a strawberry tart-like sweetness. Okay, strawberries are valentine-ey and whip cream certainly has its history with romance. So that’ll work for the topping.
So I had the berry part and the whip cream part, but must have some goo to pull it all together. Pudding would be the ticket. Vanilla? Chocolate? Banana? Nah. Let’s go something a little more celebratory for V-day. A quick raid of the pantry and ohhhhh, YES. My go-to boozey add-in: Marsala wine.
Riffing from a strawberry dessert we used to serve back in my waitressing days, this was one of the most popular desserts and I figured I would give it my spin. Their version seemed to have a lot more booze, and I needed to make this kid-friendly so I just wanted a hint of the warmth of Marsala in the custard goodness. Balancing it with the sweetness of the berries and the delicate puff pastry? Oh, my, my. In the words of my sister-in-law Gin-Gin, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!”
And here it ’tis. Happy V-day from me to you! Here’s to keeping in touch, following our hearts and feeding our cravings.
- ½ pound puff pastry sheets (I use 1 roll of Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets)
- 1-2 tablespoons chunky sugar or sugar crystals
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 quart strawberries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 pint whipping cream, whipped
- 6 egg yolks
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup Marsala wine
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- garnish of mint, basil or rosemary
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thaw puff pastry sheets per package directions. Unfold pastry onto a lightly floured surface and with a heart shaped cookie cutter create individual pastries. Gently brush pastry with egg and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
- Bake pastry on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Slice strawberries and add to a bowl with the white sugar. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to combine and macerate.
- Whip cream in a stand mixer or with a hand held mixer. Set aside.
- In a medium size metal or glass bowl, add eggs, sugar, Marsala wine, vanilla and lemon peel.
- Fill a saucepan half way with water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and set bowl with egg mixture over water making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk mixture constantly for about 7 to 10 minutes until it triples in volume and becomes custard like in consistency. Once desired consistency is reached, remove from heat and set aside.
- To serve, cut heart shapes in half and top bottom half with sabayon custard, strawberries and whip cream. Garnish with herb of your choice and top half of heart pastry or serve on the side.