I am a huge fan of Puff Pastry. Who isn't? I always have some in the refrigerator or freezer. I only buy the all butter kind. It is well worth any additional expense for that in both texture and flavour. I am also a huge fan of lemon curd. I often make my own.
You can find my recipe for that here. It's really good, but a good commercial lemon curd will also work well in this recipe. This recipe combines my two great loves. Puff pastry and Lemon Curd, in a most delicious way.
This is a beautiful bake which looks a lot more complicated than it is. If you have all of the elements ready prior to putting the finished braid togethe, it goes together very quickly. Make sure your puff pastry is nice and cold and you will have no problem with it.
It does stretch a bit as you are overlapping it as it warms up, but that's no problem, just work quickly from as cold a pastry as you can. If you need to pop the tray back into the refrigerator after you score and cut it prior to braiding it, then do it. Its worth the extra time that it will take to do so. But really, if you work quickly it won't be necessary.
I do the same thing at Christmas with mincemeat and its gorgeous as well. Lemon curd though . . . you can't beat it. this goes down very well with a nice hot drink in the morning for your coffee break, or for a leisurely weekend brunch!
*Lemon and Cheese Puff*Serves 6 to 8
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper. Set aside. If you have all of your ingredients ready to go, it goes together in a flash.
Whisk together the cream cheese, icing sugar, corn flour and vanilla. Set aside.
Unroll your puff pastry onto the lined baking sheet. Lightly score the pastry (don't cut all the way through) into thirds lengthwise. On each outside third, at the top of the pastry, slice off and discard a strip at a downward angle. (see photo) Cut slashes from this edge at the same angle at 1 inch intervals all the way down to the bottom on each side until you get to the bottom. You should have a small triangle of pastry at the bottom of each side, remove and discard.
Spread your lemon curd down the centre strip of the pastry, taking care to keep it in the middle, gently spreading it out with the back of a spoon.
Top with the cream cheese mixture.
Working your way down the slice, fold a strip from the left hand side over top of the feeling. (see photo) Repeat with a strip from the right hand side covering the filling and crossing over the other strip, repeat all the way down to make a braid. You can fold any end bits up over the edge to help enclose the filling.
Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until well risen, puffed and golden brown. Leave to cool for about half an hour.
Dust with icing sugar and cut into slices to serve. Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator.
I hope that you can make sense of my instructions and photographs! I really hope you'll try it. I think you will agree with me that is easy to make and quite delicious! Bon Appetit!