Lime and Mango Matchsticks

Lime and Mango Matchsticks

Lime and Mango Matchsticks

One of the absolute staples of the late 1970s – 1980s was the fresh cream matchstick.  Voluminous puff-pastry with fresh cream and jam dusted with icing sugar.  I loved these as a child and looked forward to 'grown-up' parties when my Mum would make them in a production line along the kitchen counter.  Those were the days before ready-rolled puff pastry and I remember her hunched over an unforgiving slab of butter-puff, rolling and cutting until the pastry obeyed.  These days it is a little easier to buy excellent butter pastry, either ready rolled or in hefty chunks.  For these matchsticks I have used the non-ready rolled pastry as I wanted the pastry a little thicker than normal – I have also folded and rolled the pastry with a smear of butter between each fold to accentuate the layers.
Lime, cream and mango are a wonderful combination especially when added to light crispy pastry.

1 quantity puff pastry of your choice
1 egg, beaten
1 ripe mango, finely sliced
2 limes
2 teaspoons icing sugar
300mls double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste or ½ a scraped vanilla bean (not the runny essence)
Pinch of salt

Pre-heat oven to 225°C

Roll the pastry and cut into long thin strips.  Baste the tops of the pastry matchsticks with the beaten egg and a tiny sprinkle of icing sugar.  Place the pastry strips on a lined baking sheet and bake in a hot oven until golden brown and puffed.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until entirely cold.

For the Lime Cream:
Whip together the double cream with the salt, sugar, vanilla and a the zest of 1 lime.
Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the flavour to develop.

On a saucer, lay out the mango slices and squeeze over the juice of a lime

To assemble:
Using a piping bag (or a spatula) layer the cream onto the matchsticks, then add slices of mango.  Add a small amount of cream to the top matchsticks then sandwich gently together.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with a few slices of mango and the zest of a lime.