Easy-as pies

Us­ing ready-made pas­try, it’s no trou­ble to quickly roll a tasty pie or two off the pro­duc­tion line, says NZ House & Garden Food Editor Sally But­ters. BA­CON, MUSH­ROOM & KU­MARA FILO TARTS CARAMELISED ONION & SMOKED CHICKEN PIES

The Press - Your Weekend (The Press) - - Weekend Kitchen -

Filo is one of the quick­est pas­tries to work with be­cause it doesn’t need to be rolled out. Just don’t let it sit around on the bench to go dry and brit­tle – keep it cov­ered with a tea towel and store any left­over pas­try in the fridge, well sealed and air­tight. Roast or baked ku­mara left over from an ear­lier meal is ideal for these tarts.

2 ta­ble­spoons oil 4 spring onions, chopped 12 but­ton mush­rooms, coarsely chopped 6 rash­ers streaky ba­con, diced 1 ta­ble­spoon flour About 1 cup milk Blue cheese to taste Few sprigs fresh thyme 2 eggs, beaten 5 sheets filo pas­try Melted but­ter for brush­ing Slices of cooked ku­mara Toasted pine nuts for sprin­kling

Heat oven to 180C. Grease 6 in­di­vid­ual tart dishes or large muf­fin pans. Heat oil in a saucepan over mod­er­ate heat and saute spring

These pies are pretty much a to­tal cheat, but no one is likely to com­plain when they taste so good. Packet gravy mixes tend to be high in sodium so it’s best to use a salt-re­duced stock to bal­ance the flavour.

2 sheets ready-rolled short­crust pasty 2 sheets ready-rolled flaky puff pas­try About 1 cup (or 1 jar) onion mar­malade or jam 1 smoked chicken breast, cut into cubes 2 ta­ble­spoons light brown gravy mix (from a packet) ½ cup salt-re­duced chicken stock ½ cup wa­ter 1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 200C. Cut out 6 shapes of short­crust pasty to line ½-cup ca­pac­ity pie dishes, and 6 shapes from the flaky puff pas­try to make the lids. Into each pas­try-lined dish place a cou­ple of ta­ble­spoons of onion mar­malade and some chopped chicken breast. Com­bine pow­dered gravy mix, stock and wa­ter in a small saucepan. Cook, stir­ring con­stantly, un­til thick­ened. onions, mush­rooms and ba­con un­til mush­rooms are soft­ened and ba­con is cooked. Stir in flour then, stir­ring con­tin­u­ally, grad­u­ally add enough milk to make a thick sauce. Crum­ble in some blue cheese and add some thyme leaves. Cool a lit­tle, then mix in the beaten eggs. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Layer the sheets of filo on top of each other on a dry bench, brush­ing each layer with melted but­ter as you go. Cut the stack into 6 and line the tart dishes with the pas­try. Di­vide the fill­ing mixture be­tween the tarts. Top with ku­mara slices and a few toasted pine nuts. Bake for 15-20 min­utes or un­til the fill­ing is firm and the pas­try golden. Makes 6 Pour gravy into pies and top with the puff pas­try lids, mak­ing a cou­ple of slashes to let the steam es­cape. Crimp edges to seal. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 20 min­utes un­til golden. Makes 6

CARAMEL BANANA & NUT PUFF PIES These dessert pies are a scrummy mix of cream, cashews, caramel, rum and banana sand­wiched in flaky pas­try.

2 sheets flaky puff pas­try 50g but­ter ½ cup brown sugar 1 ta­ble­spoon cream 2 ba­nanas, peeled and sliced 70g whole cashews, lightly toasted Whipped cream Rum to taste Ic­ing sugar for dust­ing

Heat oven to 220C. Cut 6 x 10cm cir­cles from the pas­try, place them on a lined bak­ing tray and bake for 12-15 min­utes un­til golden. Melt but­ter in a saucepan, add brown sugar and mix well. Stir in cream then add ba­nanas and cashews. Cook gen­tly for a minute, stir­ring to coat the ba­nanas. Split the pas­try rounds through the mid­dle (like you would bread rolls) and spoon the banana mixture over the bases. Top with rum-flavoured whipped cream, re­place the lids and dust with ic­ing sugar. These pies are best served im­me­di­ately as the pas­try will soften on stand­ing. Serves 6


Recipes & styling: Ber­nadette Hogg Pho­to­graphs: Manja Wachsmuth

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