Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Waste Not Want Not

Like most of my generation I was brought up to make good use of leftovers, I think that my Mum who had been a child during the second world war grew up valuing food and never taking it for granted.  One of my favourite tricks is to turn leftover casseroles or curries into pasties.

Usually I make shortcrust pastry for these or cheat by using shop bought puff pastry but today I was inspired to make my own rough puff pastry; less labour intensive than homemade puff pastry but a bit more work than a shortcrust which I normally whizz up in the food processor.

I love the crispy pastry against the softer texture of the casserole or curry filling.  Served with saute potatoes and a crisp salad it makes a great mid-week meal.

Rough Puff Pastry
Enough for 2 large pasties
150g plain flour
pinch of salt
75g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
chilled water to mix

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and add the cubes of butter.  Gently mix with your hands ensuring that the butter is covered in flour.  Add enough water to bring the mixture together into firm dough.

On a well-floured board bring the dough together into a rectangular shape.  Roll out the rectangle to about 1cm thickness then fold the top third of the pastry towards you and the bottom third up over the top.  Turn 90 degrees and repeat the rolling and folding.  Do this another 4 times i.e. 6 times in total.  Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.

ready to roll

After the resting period take the pastry out of the fridge and roll it out to about 3mm thickness.  Cut out two 20cm circles (I use a side plate for this).

ready to cut

Put your filling of choice onto one half of one the circle, leaving about 2cm around the edge.  Brush the edge with water and bring the other half of the circle over the top of the filling to form a pasty shape,  Pinch the edges together to form a good seal and repeat with the other circle of pastry.

ready to bake

Place the pasties on a baking sheet covered with silicon paper and brush with a little egg yolk or milk, then bake in the oven at 190C for about 30 minutes.

Note: 20cm circles make large pasties so if you're serving children or having the pasties for lunch you could cut smaller circles, say 12-15 cm in diameter, making more pasties with the same amount of casserole or curry. The pasties can be eaten cold as well as hot from the oven making smaller versions ideal for summer picnics.

1 comment:

Sylvie said...

I love a nice pasty. One of my favourite things to discover since coming to Britain. I don't understand why savoury pasties are not more popular in Germany! Apart from sausage rolls you see them rarely, and I guess calling a sausage roll a pasty is pushing it a little.

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