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
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
22 JULY 2017 | YOUR WEEKEND