Riina in the café loves these easy treats from her homeland at Christmas. The traditional recipe for the pastry is quite fiddly and includes ricotta, cream and butter, but as everybody is so busy at Christmas, a lot of people just make these with their children using ready-made puff pastry. They take just 5–10 minutes to whip up and cut the shapes. Traditionally, a prune filling is used, but we have made these with all kinds of compote (including lingonberry and blueberry). If you want to use jam/preserves with a high sugar content, add a little cornflour/cornstarch to avoid the sugar melting and spilling out in your oven.
- Yield: 15 Servings
- 1 sheet of shop-bought puff pastry (the sheet I used measured approx. 30 x 18 cm/12 x 7 in., which produced 15 squares of 6 x 6 cm/2½ x 2½ in.)
- beaten egg, for brushing
- icing/confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 5½ oz (150 g) dried pitted prunes
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar (or more, to taste)
- 1–2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- To make the filling, place the prunes, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan with water just covering them, and bring to a slow simmer. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the prunes are really soft. Purée if needed, then cool and use as directed.
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) Gas 4. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Cut the pastry into 15 equal squares of around 6 x 6 cm/2½ x 2½ in. (the size is not important if your sheet is a different size, just cut into equal squares close to this size). On each square, make a diagonal cut from each corner towards the middle, stopping 1 cm/½ in. from the centre.
- Brush each square with beaten egg, then transfer each one to the lined baking sheets. Add 1 teaspoon of the prune filling (or jam/preserves, if you prefer) in the centre, then fold one corner into the middle, repeating all the way around to form a little star. In total, you’ll probably need around 150 g/5½ oz. of filling or jam.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12–15 minutes until the pastry has cooked through and is golden and puffed up. Allow to cool down a little before dusting with icing/confectioners’ sugar and serving.