The QNI’s strawberry vol-au-vents
June is an important month for the Queen’s Nursing Institute because it is when they will celebrate the 130th anniversary of the charity. The QNI was originally created with money raised by the women of England for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, which took place on 20th June 1887. The Queen became the charity’s first patron when it was incorporated by royal charter.
Queen’s Nurses were reviewed by Victoria at Windsor in 1896 and by successive royal patrons throughout the 20th century. Queen Elizabeth II is the QNI’s current patron and Queen’s Nurses are attending her garden at Frogmore when this opens for the National Garden Scheme this month, continuing the royal connection to the present day.
The QNI have given us this fabulous Strawberry Vol-au-vent recipe fit for any party; 130th anniversary or otherwise!
- Roll out a block of puff pastry to a thickness of ½ inch, though you can vary this according to how deep you want the vol-au-vent to be.
- With a pastry cutter, cut out the vol-au-vents to the size and shape you want. Remove the excess. With a slightly smaller pastry cutter, press halfway down into the pastry, taking care not to cut through the bottom.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 10-12 minutes, or until risen. When nearly done brush them over with beaten egg white, dust with sugar and put them back in the oven to glaze.
- When ready, remove the cases from the oven and allow them to cool. Remove the centres and fill the vol-au-vent shortly before serving with fresh strawberries, sweetened with sugar and covered with whipped cream.
- For a variation try apricots, cherries or plums or even oranges (with pips or stones removed).
- 250g Puff Pastry
- 1 Egg White
- 250ml Whipping Cream
- 350g Strawberries
- 1 Tbsp Caster Sugar