My perception of ‘summer fruits’ changed dramatically once I moved to England. For me, ‘summer fruits’ were always associated with the strong sun that gave cherries, peaches, plums and melons their gorgeous nectar and ripe flesh which I grew up tasting in my native Portugal. Once here, my fruit palette grew and gave space to the blackberries, the raspberries, the gooseberries, the medley of the so called ‘red fruits’. The ones that are picked up by children in linen bibs on ‘politely sunny’ days as opposed to the fiercely hot August days when my cousins and I would climb the fig tree that rested at the end of my Grandmother’s garden and feast on ripe and juicy fruit. These ‘red fruits’ acquire a gentle ripeness while keeping their moistness after all those months of rain. Hence the slight tart flavour. Of course this is my own romantic theory and not based on scientific fact. Today I present you with these little filo fruit parcels that assemble perfectly, in my opinion, so much of the British summer, a time for resting and for indulgence. I had to wrap them in filo though, somehow I had to introduce something from Southern Europe. Enjoy.
300gr of good quality filo pastry
250gr of mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries)
50gr of sugar
1 tbsp of water
rind of half a lemon
Unsalted butter to brush the pastry
Pre-heat the oven at 200 ºC.
Place the fruits in a small pan with the sugar, the water and the rind of the lemon. Let it gently simmer till the fruits become soft and with the consistency of compote. Remove from the heat. Set aside.
Butter and dust with flour a muffin tray. Line each compartiment with four equal squares of filo pastry, brushing each one with melted butter. Fill each compartiment with a tablespoon of fruit, unite the adjacent corners of each square and twist so that you end up with a pear shape close parcel of filo.
Place in the oven for 15 minutes till they golden. Remove and let them cool down. You can serve them warm or cold with a dollop of creme fraiche.