The easiest puff pastry desert – back cherries and vanila-lemon filling

This is one of my favorite quick recipes because it can be prepared for less than 20 min and it is delicious. You can even make the cream the night before and keep some in the refrigerator for up to a week. I always have one package of puff pastry in the freezer in case of “emergency”, when somebody pays us an unexpected visit 🙂

For the puff pastry
– one package ready made puff pastry sheets ( I used ” Athens”)
– black cherry preserve ( with whole cherries)

For the vanilla filling
– 3 cups milk
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 6 tablespoons cornstarch
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3 eggs, beaten
-1 tablespoon butter
– teaspoons vanilla extract
– lemon extract
– 3 tsp extra dark cocoa powder

Let the puff pastry sheet unfreeze and cut on equal squares. Preheat the oven at 375 F . Please each square in a muffin pan ( no need to grease) and fill with couple of black cherries from a cherry preserve.

Bake until the puff pastry is golden in color. When ready, let them cool down for 10 min in the pan, then take them out very carefully and place in a tray.

Scald milk in top of double boiler over boiling water. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt, then stir into scalding milk. Cook, stirring constantly until thick. Cover and cook for 10 minutes longer. Add a small amount of hot mixture to beaten eggs; return to the mixture in double boiler. Cook for 5 more minutes and stir constantly, then add butter. Separate the filling in two pans – to the one that is going to be white filling add the vanilla and the lemon extract ( you can also add some lemon zest if you like), as to the one that is going to be brown, add 3 tsp extra dark powdered cocoa. Place in 2 separate bowls and sprinkle small amount of sugar over top to prevent skin from forming, then chill well in the refrigerator.
Afterwards fill in the puff pastry “cups” with the cream and decorate as desired. Serve at room temperature.