It is so hard to find foods my entire family will eat. I know as my girls get older, their palates will develop and they'll become more adventurous eaters, so right now their pickiness isn't too much a concern. It's just a hassle.
I hate having to prepare more than one dish for a meal, so we try to comprimise. If I'm making pasta, I'll keep some noodles aside and mix them with butter and cheese for the kids. If we're having chicken, I'll roast it plain with salt and pepper, first, so the girls can eat that before I add the rest to a curry or stir fry.
I try to inject as many fruits and veggies into their meals as possible, but at the end of the day, I'm thrilled if they'll even just have a bite of something new.
Sometimes this approach pays off. I didn't think they'd like these plum and brown sugar pastries, but I was so wrong. They were very quickly devoured.
These are definitely a treat, not an every day breakfast item. I say they're breakfast pastries because they're basically grown-up pop-tarts. They will keep for several days in an airtight container, you can freeze and reheat them as needed and, although they are sweet, they're made with lovely, fresh plums, good Irish butter and and just a bit of brown sugar.
The glaze adds a nice finish but is completely optional if you want to keep your sugar intake low. I like the tang of the fresh plum compote with the deeper, caramelised flavour of brown sugar, but feel free to use caster sugar in its place.
For the plum compote:
For the pastry:
For the glaze:
1 Make the plum compote: in a large saucepan, combine the fresh plums, demerera sugar and water and bring to a rapid boil. Cook the fruit until soft, then mash with a potato masher to break the fruit up.
2 Lower the heat to a simmer. Add the corn flour and water miixture and stir constantly until the plums are thick and glossy.
3 Push the fruit mixture through a sieve to catch the skins and let cool for two to three hours (or in the freezer for 30 minutes).
4 Make the pastry: in a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, brown sugar and butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, then add the egg and mix into a dough. Divide into two and shape into discs. Wrap in cling film and chill for one hour.
5 Once chilled, take each disc of dough and divide into four. Roll each quarter out to roughly 2cm thickness and, using a pizza cutter, cut into two rectangular halves. Add a heaping tablespoon of plum compote on one half and then top with the other half. Working quickly, press the edges with your fingers so no compote escapes, then trim the edges with the pizza cutter and press with a fork (see above video for how-to).
6 Repeat with each piece of dough until you have eight pastries. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.
7 Preheat the oven to 200C. When the pastries are chilled, brush the tops with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a bit more demerera sugar. Pierce the tops for steam to escape while baking. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
8 Allow to cool completely. In the meantime, make the glaze: combine the icing sugar, salt and milk in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. You want the glaze to be on the thick side, but it should drizzle easily. Add a bit more milk if you need to adjust the consistency.
9 Place the pastries on a cooling rack, place the rack under a tray (to catch excess glaze) and generously drizzle the pastries with the glaze. Allow the glaze to set (one to two hours) before serving.
10 Freeze for up to two months or store in an airtight container for up to a week. A great weekend breakfast treat for the kids (and kids at heart)!