Mina Holland's Cherry, Coconut & Thyme Shuttle

By • August 7, 2015 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe comes from editor of the Guardian’s Cook magazine and author of The World on a Plate, Mina Holland.

"This is based on *the* pudding of my childhood, a golden fixture of my early years. We always had it with tart plums and almond frangipane, but at the time of cooking for The Curious Pear, plums were not yet in season, so I gave this combination a whirl. The combination of staining ripe cherries offset by the lemon juice, sweet coconut, and thyme (I take any opportunity to weave herbs into my cooking) is balanced, beautifully fragrant, and a little exotic. When almond hits, I recommend trying this with plums and almond to replace the cherries and coconut respectively. Enjoy with crème fraîche when warm or, if they last until morning, eat them cold and pleasantly soggy with coffee for breakfast."
The Curious Pear

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Serves 4 to 6

For the pastries:

  • 1 roll of ready-made puff pastry
  • 200 grams cherries, halved, with pits and stems removed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • A generous squeeze of lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs thyme, stripped of leaves
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glaze

For the coconut frangipane:

  • 50 grams butter, softened
  • 4 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 50 grams dried coconut
  • 2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • 2 sprigs thyme, stripped of leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 200° C (just shy of 400° F). Next, unroll your ready-made pastry (and feel unapologetic about not having made your own) and place on a flat, greased baking tray.
  2. Cut it in half and then, on one of the halves, score the pastry with diagonal slits, leaving a few uncut centimeters on all four sides. Put the pastry in the fridge to chill until you're ready to use it.
  3. Put the cherries in a bowl with the lemon zest, juice, and thyme leaves. Leave to sit and steep until you're ready for them.
  4. To make the coconut frangipane, cream the softened butter with the superfine sugar, then add the dried coconut, coconut extract, and the thyme leaves.
  5. Take the pastry from the fridge and spoon the frangipane onto the uncut side of it, leaving a few centimeters clear around all four edges. Then spoon the cherries on top. If it starts to look like it will be a rather full pastry package, don't use all the cherries (sometimes it's nice to have a few left to eat with theirs juices and the pastry crusts at the end). Place the cut side of the pastry on top of all this. Then, using a fork, press the edges of the two sides of pastry together.
  6. Beat the egg and brush some of this over the pastry. Bake in the oven for anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how hot your oven becomes. Honestly, I just watch it closely and remove it when it reaches the perfect hue of gold.

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