Perfect party pieces

Perfect party pieces




200g (7oz) shelled cooked

North Atlantic prawns

200g (7oz) sliced smoked salmon

small bunch of fresh dill

170ml tub full-fat soured cream

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1⁄2 lemon

pinch of ground cayenne pepper

freshly ground black pepper

lamb’s lettuce, a little vinaigrette and 6 lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Lay the prawns on kitchen paper and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  2. Cut one long strip, about 1 x 5cm (1⁄2 x 2in), per serving from the salmon slices and put to one side. Cut the remaining smoked salmon into small pieces about 1cm (1⁄2in) in size.
  3. Set aside a sprig of dill per serving, then finely chop the rest of the bunch and tip into a mixing bowl. Add the soured cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and some freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine.
  4. Add the prawns and chopped salmon pieces.
  5. Arrange the lamb’s lettuce on individual plates, drizzle with the vinaigrette, then pile the prawn mixture in the centre.
  6. Arrange the reserved salmon strips on top of the prawns. Garnish with a sprig of dill and a wedge of lemon.


The prawn and salmon mixture can be made up to the end of step 4 8 hours ahead – the flavours will actually improve. The plates can be arranged up to 3 hours ahead. Not suitable for freezing.




1 tbsp olive oil

1⁄2 large onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

150g (1⁄2oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced

225g (8oz) baby spinach

125g (1⁄2oz) ricotta

75g (1⁄2oz) Gruyère, grated

1 egg yolk

dash of Tabasco

salt and freshly ground black pepper

a little plain flour, to dust

1⁄2 x 500g packet ready rolled all-butter puff pastry (freeze the other half for another occasion)

1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7) and put a baking sheet in the oven to get hot. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the onion, and fry for 2 minutes. Lower the heat, cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the garlic, mushrooms and spinach and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms have softened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile put the ricotta, Gruyère, egg yolk (whole egg if making for 12 people), and Tabasco into a bowl, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mix until combined. Stir into the cold spinach mixture.
  4. Lay the sheet of pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a 28 x 33cm (11 x 13in) rectangle (33 x 38cm/13 x 15in rectangle for 12).
  5. Pile the spinach mixture into the middle of the pastry, leaving a 4cm (1⁄2in) gap around the edge. Brush the pastry with the egg mixture, then fold the ends over the filling and bring the sides up so they meet at the top. Crimp the ends together to seal, then brush the pastry with egg.
  6. Transfer to the hot baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes (45 minutes for 12) or until golden all over. Leave to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes, then slice and serve hot.


The en croûte can be made up to the end of step 5 8 hours ahead. Not suitable for freezing.



Special equipment 6 x 7cm (3⁄4in) round metal cooking rings


75g (1⁄2oz) HobNobs, crushed

45g (1⁄2oz) butter, melted

1 tbsp demerara sugar

For the mousse

100g (1⁄2oz) full-fat cream cheese

150ml (5fl oz) double cream

150g (1⁄2oz) Belgian or continental 100 per cent white chocolate

1 tbsp Cointreau

1 large orange


  1. Put the HobNobs into a mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar, and mix to combine.
  2. Line a baking sheet with cling film and sit the rings on top. Spoon the biscuit mixture evenly into the rings and level the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Transfer to the fridge to chill while you make the mousse.
  3. Put the cream cheese and cream into a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until thick and holding its shape.
  4. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of just simmering water until smooth. Allow to cool.
  5. Add the chocolate to the cream mixture and stir in the Cointreau. Finely grate the zest of the orange and add to the mousse.
  6. Spoon the mousse into the rings and level the tops. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours to firm up. Meanwhile peel the orange with a small knife. Cut the segments free and place in a bowl. Squeeze over the juice from the peel.
  7. Remove the rings and serve the mousses with the orange segments arranged on top. Garnish with grated white chocolate.

The new edition of Mary Berry Cooks Up a Feast by Mary Berry and Lucy Young is published by DK priced £25 available from all good bookshops and


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