Potato and Camembert Pasties

Meat pies.

An iconic Aussie treat, that I have just never been into.

Perhaps it stems from my lack of interest in gravy, or perhaps the lack of good meat (generally) in the pie itself

Instead, you’ll find me ordering a sausage roll when we stop at the Bakery for lunch. Or, even better, a vegetable-packed pasty.

Recently, with a view to not letting my freezer hoard of puff pastry get out of hand again, I decided to make some pasties at home. My version ended up quite different to the usual variety though (and I suspect far more indulgent). For the flaky pastry was filled with creamy potato, mustard and camembert cheese.

I made large versions on this occasion, but think they would also work well as smaller ‘finger food’ for a party or special event.

You can keep your meat pies. I’ll take these pasties any day!

 

Print Recipe
Potato and Camembert Pasties
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place potatoes, cream, mustards and garlic in a small saucepan. Simmer over a medium heat for 20 or 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Season and set aside to cool slightly. Stir through the camembert and spring onions.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Cut a 20cm circle from each of the pastry sheets, and top half of each of the circles with a 1/4 of the potato mixture, leaving a border.
  3. Brush egg around the edge of the pastry circles and carefully fold in half to enclose the filling. Crimp the edges with a fork to seal.
  4. Brush the tops of the pasties with a little egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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Sunshine ‘pull-apart’ Pie

IMG_5229I am certainly someone that its attracted to cooking magazines, particularly when they have something scrumptious on the cover. And a recent edition of Taste magazine (which is one of my favourite ‘everyday meal’ recipe magazines at the moment) captured my attention in no time at all. The ‘sunshine pie’ which featured on the cover – had everyone in our household intrigued. For the magazine had turned a humble spinach and ricotta pie into something rather spectacular! IMG_5322 Spinach, ricotta, goats cheese, cheddar, green onions and eggs, combined then sandwiched between two layers of puff pasty that had been cut into rounds. Then, with some creative knife and twist work – a lovely little ‘sun’ was ready for baking. pie And after 35 minutes in the oven – what a pretty addition to the dinner table we had! IMG_5229 These photos were taken after 30 minutes or so, as I par-cooked the pie in advance of the dinner party we were having that evening. Needless to say that when it had an extra 10 minutes in the oven before serving, it puffed up even more and turned beautifully golden brown. IMG_5230 I loved loved LOVED the three-cheese combination – particularly the goats cheese that really gave the pie a flavour hit. And I can’t help but think that the ‘twist’ method would work with lots of other flavour combinations too. Time to get my thinking cap on!

Curry ‘samosa’ puffs

In addition to my dessert contribution to our recent Indian feast, I wanted to make something savoury too. Cue this plate of curry samosa puffs, that seemed to work well with the Indian theme. IMG_7190 - Copy It was 38C outside, and not exactly perfect pastry making weather, so I opted to use some pre-made puff pastry instead (needless to say this caused its own set of challenges when it thawed pretty much instantaneously). IMG_7171 I found this recipe online, which seemed to have the flavours and method I was looking for. Not to mention being a tasty ‘almost-Samosa’ addition to the dinner table. IMG_7173 I changed it up a bit – using tikka curry paste (that’s all I had), and grating the carrot instead. IMG_7175 I had to work quickly to encase the mince mixture in the rapidly thawing pastry – using some beaten egg as ‘glue’ and crimping the edges with a fork. IMG_7180 The result being a tray of rather rustic parcels – but rustic can be good no? IMG_7184 Baked for 20 minutes, and all pastry-dramas were forgive. For when I opened the oven, I was met with crispy golden brown puffs. IMG_7188 I soon realised that a dipping ‘sauce would work well – so I made a raita-style sauce with yoghurt, mint, cucumber, garlic, allspice and a sprinkle of paprika. IMG_7193 Even Charlotte ate 3 of these – so I’m calling them a win! Fiddly, yes, but I’m sure they would become easier with practice (and cooler temperatures outside). IMG_7192 What about you? Are you a fan of curry puffs like these?

Pumpkin and tuna tart

IMG_1920 This dish is a fine example of what can happen when you have a bunch of random ingredients and a bit of spare time on your hands. For with a pumpkin nearing its use by date, and some tuna and eggs begging to be used, I found myself rolling out a batch of shortcrust pastry to make a rather random tart. IMG_1912 I roasted the peeled diced pumpkin, until soft and just starting to take on some colour. Then layered it in the pastry, along with 3 beaten eggs, 1 small tin of tuna, 100g of light sour cream, some sliced red onion and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary. IMG_1913 Then into the oven at 180C for 30 minutes, until the eggs had cooked and the tart was golden brown. IMG_1917 The result being a lovely little tart that was just perfect for a light lunch when served with a side salad. IMG_1921 And a random, albeit yummy, take on the ol’ quiche! What about you? Cooked any savoury tarts lately?

Chocolate profiteroles

As you might recall, we switched cuisines during our recent yum cha brunch – finishing with a French dessert – profiteroles! IMG_3763 Basically choux pastry, usually filled with whipped cream or pastry cream, and topped with chocolate or caramel, these tasty little treats sure do pack a punch. IMG_3737 I was initially tempted to try my hand at a croquembouche, but later decided to go with an ‘easier’ option.  I would fill the profiteroles with crème patisserie, and top them simply with melted chocolate. But first, the profiteroles. There are so many different recipes out there – most of which contain variations of the same idea – butter + water + flour + eggs – piped into rounds and baked until beautifully puffed and golden. My first batch was a complete fail*, but the second came out just wonderfully (thank goodness!) IMG_3738 As for the filling, I made a batch of crème patisserie the day before, that I let set in the fridge. IMG_3739 It wasn’t perfectly silky smooth, but the flavour was just lovely, and I filled each profiterole with as much as I could. IMG_3740 To finish, the tops of the profiteroles were dipped in melted dark chocolate, and then left to set (which was probably the easiest, albeit messiest part of the whole experience!) IMG_3752 Definitely not the quickest of desserts, or even the easiest, but most certainly a grand dessert when presented on a tiered cake stand. IMG_3748 * But now, in the interests of full disclosure, I must show you what my first batch of profiteroles looked like… IMG_3734 Yup more ‘pancake’ than puff – these little flatties went straight into the bin (and I learned my lesson to not overdo it on the eggs!). What about you? Are you a fan of profiteroles?

Beef Wellington

IMG_2879 I seem to recall mentioning Mr BBB’s love of Beef Wellington in this post. For whenever I ask him what he would like for dinner, I can see, almost immediately, what he would like to request. Beef Wellington. IMG_2866 On this occasion, with no food intolerances to cater for, I was able to try my hand at the original version. Inspired by this recipe – contained in the Women’s Weekly “Retro” cookbook. I sourced a lovely little piece of beef fillet from my new favourite butcher,  which I seared on all sides and set aside to cool. I then got to work on the remainder of the dish – starting by sautéing onions and mushrooms in a little butter until soft. IMG_2857 Once cooled, I placed the mushroom / onion mixture down the centre of a piece of puff pastry I had rolled out into a slightly larger rectangle. IMG_2858 Next, the seared beef, that I spread with pate. IMG_2859 Then it was time to wrap and roll… IMG_2861 And get a little creative with the leftover pastry. IMG_2865 Brushed with egg, then allowed to bake for 30 minutes or so. Resulting in perfectly golden brown and crispy pastry. IMG_2877IMG_2879 Sliced and served with a side of steamed veggies (probably to try and counteract an otherwise fairly calorie-laden meal). IMG_2892 Not only did I love the ‘puff’ of this regular puff pastry (as opposed to the lack of puff in its GF counterpart), the overall cost was far less than my last attempt. IMG_2890 A deliciously indulgent Winter meal indeed. What about you? Are you a fan of Beef Wellington?

Roasted rhubarb custard tart

IMG_9362 I had a lot of fun making this sweet treat for our recent Good Friday lunch. Knowing that we would be indulging in seafood throughout the day, and with the chocolate overload that would follow in the days thereafter, I wanted to keep dessert somewhat light. Indulgent yes. But not too heavy in chocolate or richness. And I think this sweet little tart may have fit the bill just perfectly. As pastry requires time to rest, be rolled, and rested again, I started this at 6.30am on the morning of our family lunch. As such, I don’t have any step-by-step photos to share with you, but the finished product was so beautiful to photograph that I am sure you will understand. IMG_9342 The tart came courtesy of the Women’s Weekly “show-stopper desserts” cookbook, that I have been drooling over for some time now. Who knew that one little cookbook could contain so many gorgeous desserts!?! The day before the lunch, I put together the vanilla pastry cream (that is hiding under the roasted rhubarb).  IMG_9601 Vanilla beans, milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornflour – combined and cooked until we had a luxuriously creamy custard that I let thicken and set overnight. IMG_9346 As for the pastry, I well and truly still have my L-plates on when it comes to making pastry. But I am pleased to report that it came together relatively easily, and I was able to roll it out also without too much drama. IMG_9348 It was light, and crumbly, and contained no sugar – which worked just nicely with the sweet custard. IMG_9352 But the real star of this tart was the rhubarb. IMG_9355 Oh that beautiful, tart rhubarb. Trimmed and cut into sticks, then roasted with a sprinkle of icing sugar for 10 minutes or so (or until the rhubarb was cooked but still held its shape). IMG_9365 Layered atop the custard-filled tart, creating a colourful and rather pretty addition to our lunch table. IMG_9363 I really enjoyed the contrasts of this tart. The crumbly, buttery pastry, the sweet, creamy vanilla custard and the tart yet slightly sweet rhubarb. A winner in my book, that’s for sure! What about you? Are you a fan of rhubarb?

Filo rolls take 1

IMG_9224 With the re-introduction of wheat into my diet, I now have the opportunity to cook with ingredients I have never previously worked with. One such ingredient is filo pastry, that I have seen all too often on cooking shows, but never actually used myself. Well until last week, that is. I picked up a packet of filo pastry from the supermarket, and just stared at it for a little while trying to figure out what on earth I would do with it. A look in the fridge revealed a big butternut pumpkin that needed to be used, and a dinner idea grew from there. I peeled and diced the pumpkin, then roasted it in the oven with olive oil, garlic and cinnamon for an hour or so. IMG_9214 Processed until smooth – then combined with a good amount of ricotta. IMG_9215 And thus our pumpkin, cinnamon ricotta filling was born! As for the filo itself, I must have been rather dubious that this recipe would work, as I didn’t take any action shots. Basically, I layered  a couple sheets of filo, sprayed them with olive oil spray, then folded them in half. I spooned a good amount of the pumpkin mixture and baby spinach on the short end of the pastry, then rolled it up (turning in the sides) to form a sausage roll shaped pastry. IMG_9219 Like so… IMG_9217 Placed on a lined baking tray, finished with another light spray of olive oil, then topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Into the oven at 180C for 15 minutes…. IMG_9220 And look at the magical filo rolls that greeted me when I opened the oven door! IMG_9221 Perfectly golden, perfectly crispy… IMG_9222 But the real treat was inside… IMG_9226 Creamy, flavoursome pumpkin and spinach Smile  This, my friends, is going to certainly be a “take 1”. Of many. My mind is already starting to whirl with other filling combinations! What about you? Ever cook with filo?

Apple Tart

Last Friday, I had an itch. IMG_7469 With the weather dark, gloomy and wet outside, I had an itch to do some baking. IMG_7465 Something warm, something rustic. And something to generate the warm sweet aromas that only home cooked treats can make. IMG_7466 The result was this rather ‘rustic’ apple tart, that also represented my first batch of homemade ‘regular’ shortcrust pastry since reintroducing wheat into my diet. IMG_7473 It wasn’t perfect, and was a little crumbly in parts… IMG_7472 But it satisfied my baking itch, and also my sweet tooth! IMG_7495 The apples were sweet, and tender, although the frangipane in which they were encased needs a little refining. IMG_7497 So for now, I’ll share with you these photos only, and save a more fine tuned recipe for another day. What about you? How are you at making your own pastry?

Spelt Croquembouche

The other day, Mr BBB joked about something. Something dangerous. When asked what he wanted for dinner the next night he joked, with gusto nonetheless, “croquembouche”. All I can say is “be careful what you wish for, husband dearest”. IMG_0131 Up for the challenge, I sought guidance from the pastry king himself – Adriano Zumbo, whose croquembouche recipe featured in the first Masterchef cookbook. Then, with a few substitutions, it wasn’t long before I had myself a batch of spelt choux pastry puffs… IMG_0120IMG_0121 Some delightful vanilla crème… IMG_0125 And got to work on building a masterpiece. The puffs were filled… IMG_0126 Dipped in caramel.. IMG_0129 And coated with some coloured sugar. IMG_0128 And, as I didn’t have a cone in which to build the croquembouche, I got creative and built a mini tower around a bowl that I had placed on a plate. IMG_0157 You get the idea…. Finished with a little spun sugar and some fondant flowers… IMG_0166 And I must say I was rather chuffed when I stood back and took a look at the result! IMG_0152 (And then proceeded to take 1000 photos of said creation!) IMG_0133 IMG_0149 I was really really pleased with how this turned out, given that I have never made choux pastry before (let alone spelt choux pastry), vanilla crème or spun sugar. IMG_0165 Perhaps it was beginner’s luck??? IMG_0163 I guess I’ll find out next time I make it – I’m thinking Father’s Day might be the perfect opportunity to try it again… What about you? Ever made a croquembouche?