Posts Tagged ‘pastry’

Cakes & Bakes: Cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Home-made cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies | H is for Home

There were a couple of culinary firsts for me this week.

burying egg with egg shell when making hot water pastry

Firstly, I made a vegetarian hot water pastry, based on one I found in my Pie cookbook.

melting butter and suet in hot water

Instead of using lard, I used a bit of vegetarian suet.

making hot water pastry in a mixer

I’ve never, ever eaten a pork pie (I’ve been vegetarian since the eighties). I had to ask Justin if my pastry was anything like it is meant to be… seeing as he eats this kind of raised pie on a regular basis. In fact he eats pork pie every Thursday without fail – sharing it with Fudge on their walks after an early flea market forage.

rolling hot water pastry in cling film before putting it in the fridge

My other first was cumin-spiced pumpkin & chickpea pies.

lining pie tray with parchment paper

We bought a pumpkin at Halloween so I was looking for a new way of using it.

slicing hot water pastry

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. Granted, I’ve only had it the once, but it didn’t leave fond memories.

frying off chopped onions an cumin seeds

I much prefer these squash type vegetables savoury rather than sweet.

pumpkin and chickpea pie filling

It certainly makes a good substantial filling for this type of pie – great flavour too with the addition of the very complimentary curry spices.

adding filling to pumpkin and chickpea pies and putting on lids

This recipe makes quite a few, small pies. If like us you’re only likely to eat a few at a time, they can be frozen both before and once cooked.

cooked pumpkin and chickpea pies cooling on a wire rack

They’re the perfect little autumn pies!

Cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pies
Yields 15
Write a review
For the pastry
  1. 275g/10oz plain flour
  2. 1tsp salt
  3. 1 egg
  4. 60g/2oz butter
  5. 60g/2oz vegetable suet
  6. 110ml/4 fl oz cold water
For the filling
  1. 2tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 1tbsp cumin seeds
  4. 1tbs curry powder
  5. 1tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  6. 1 tin chickpeas (180g/6oz net)
  7. 750g/1lb 10½oz pumpkin, cut into ½cm cubes
  8. 2tsp salt
  9. cracked black pepper to taste
  10. 1 bay leaf
  12. cumin-spiced pumpkin chickpea pie ingredients
For the pastry
  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg, then use the empty shell to flick a little of the flour over the surface of the egg so it's hidden
  3. Put the water, butter and suet into a small saucepan and set over a medium heat, stirring until everything dissolves and the water is just coming to a boil
  4. Remove from the heat and pour the hot mixture over the flour and egg
  5. Mix continuously with a metal spoon (I used the dough hook and my electric mixer) until the mixture comes together into a ball
  6. Tip on to a lightly floured work surface, knead briefly for about a minute before wrapping it in cling film, forming it into a fat sausage shape as you wrap
  7. Chill in the fridge for 30-45 minutes to firm up before using
For the filling
  1. In a large saucepan over a low heat, soften the chopped onion in the olive oil
  2. Add the cumin seeds and then curry powder and chilli flakes and stir
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas under the tap using a strainer before adding to the saucepan
  4. Add the pumpkin, bay leaf, salt and black pepper, combining everything well before putting a lid on the pan and allowing it to cook for about 10 minutes
  5. Once cooked, set aside and allow to cool completely
  6. Cut a number of 1cm strips (2 per pie) of baking parchment to line the pie tin (I used a silicon muffin tray, see my image above). This is to help remove the pies easily once cooked
  7. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4
  8. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge, remove the cling film before slicing into 1cm rounds
  9. Roll out or flatten the rounds and put half of them into the lined pie tins so that there is an overhang
  10. Fill each pastry case with filling right to the top, before using the other pastry rounds to top the pies
  11. Fold the overhanging pastry over the pie lid, crimping the edges to seal
  12. Pierce the centre of each lid to allow steam to escape when cooking
  13. Brush a little beaten egg over each lid
  14. Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes
  15. Allow to cool on a wire rack
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Spinach, cheese & onion tart

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Home-made spinach, cheese & onion tart | via @hisforhome

I bought myself a brand new, fluted loose-bottomed tart tin this week and couldn’t wait to use it!

ball of wholemeal shortcrust pastry

I decided to make a spinach, cheese & onion tart from a recipe that I tore out of a Telegraph magazine a few weeks ago.

wholemeal shortcrust pastry flan case

A couple of spoonfuls of English mustard adds a nice piquancy and depth of flavour.

wholemeal shortcrust pastry flan case ready to be blind-baked

We got six, good portions from the tart which can be eaten either hot or cold.

slicing onions and garlic

It’s perfect for a light lunch with a few salad leaves – and can be made well in advance if you’ve got guests coming and don’t want any last-minute stress.

washed fresh spinach

We had it the following night as more substantial evening meal pairing it with paprika-salted potato skins and mixed salad.

eggs, cream and English mustard

There are all kinds of flavour variations possible using this basic method – bacon, chorizo, smoked salmon, goat’s cheese, mushroom…

spinach, cheese &onion tart

Very delicious and very versatile.

Spinach, cheese & onion tart
Write a review
For the pastry
  1. 200g plain flour
  2. 100g wholemeal flour
  3. 150g cold butter, cubed
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 3tbs cold water
For the filling
  1. 30g butter
  2. 550g onions, peeled and very finely sliced
  3. 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  4. 450g spinach
  5. 2 whole large eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
  6. 300ml double cream
  7. 2tsp English mustard
  8. 150g mature cheddar, grated
  10. cheese soda bread ingredients
For the pastry
  1. Put the flour, butter and pinch of salt into a food processor and pulse until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add the cold water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing between each addition until the mixture comes together into a ball
  3. Shape into a thick disc, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for half an hour
For the filling
  1. Melt the 30g of butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and gently cook the onion and garlic, with a little salt, until slightly golden, then add a good splash of water and cover
  2. Sweat on a low heat until the onions are soft and sloppy - around half an hour - stirring occasionally
  3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas mark 4 and put a metal baking sheet inside
  4. Roll out the pastry and line a loose-bottomed tart tin 27cm diameter or 20 x 28cm (keep any leftover bits of pastry)
  5. Chill for 20 minutes
  6. Take the lid off the onions, turn up the heat and let the excess moisture bubble off and the onions cook until they are golden and sweet
  7. Wash the spinach and cook in a covered pan with just the water left clinging to it, about 4 minutes over a medium heat, until wilted
  8. Drain in a colander and leave to cool
  9. Line the pastry case with parchment paper, fill with baking beans and blind-bake on the preheated tray for 15 minutes
  10. Remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 7-10 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven and use any leftover raw pastry to patch any cracks
  12. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach, chop roughly, season and add to the onions
  13. Mix the eggs, yolks, cream and mustard and season well
  14. Spread the onion and spinach in the tart case, sprinkle on the cheese and pour on the cream mixture
  15. Put back into the oven, on the baking sheet, for 30 minutes, until set in the middle and golden
  16. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving
H is for Home Harbinger

Cakes & Bakes: Apple & sultana strudel

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

'Cakes & Bakes' blog post banner

Bowl of home-made apple & sultana strudel with ice cream | H is for Home

Some say life’s too short to stuff a mushroom, I say life’s too short to make home-made filo pastry. I’m more than happy to whizz up a quick batch of puff, shortcrust or hot water pastry – I think it tastes much better than shop bought. Filo, at least to me, is just that little bit too finicky and time-consuming to make from scratch.

Apple & sultana strudel ingredients

Peeled & cored Bramley apples

That’s why I picked up a pre-made pack of filo for my apple & sultana strudel.

Uncooked apple & sultana strudel filling mixture

Cooked apple & sultana strudel filling mixture

Yes, I know that filo (or phyllo) is Greek and apple strudel (or apfelstrudel) is German, but the former is the closest thing to the type of pastry traditionally used to encase the filling. Apparently you should be able to read a newspaper through it, it’s so thin!

Brushing melted butter between sheets of filo pastry

Spooning apple & sultana strudel filling mixture on to filo pastry

The filling is quick to make, I added sultanas to my apples, but you could try adding walnuts, dates or figs instead. The trickiest part is the assembly. Place the pastry onto a clean tea towel or baking parchment before filling and use it to help with rolling.

Uncooked apple & sultana strudel

Cooked apple & sultana strudel

It’s best served hot, and always with cream… or ice cream… or both!

Apple & sultana strudel
Serves 4
Write a review
Cook Time
35 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 Bramley apples
  2. 50g/1¾oz sultanas
  3. 30g/1oz soft brown sugar
  4. ½tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 80g/3oz butter
  6. 270g (6 sheets) pre-made filo pastry
  7. 1tbs Demerara sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6 and grease a large oven tray
  2. Peel, core and chop the apples into large cubes
  3. Put the apples into a large saucepan with the sultanas, soft brown sugar, ground cinnamon and 50g/2oz of the butter
  4. Cook over a medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring to combine well, until the apple just begins to soften
  5. Set aside to cool
  6. In a small microwaveable bowl, melt the remaining butter (about 5-8 seconds)
  7. Fold the pastry sheets over in half, laying them out onto a clean tea towel or baking parchment
  8. Unfold the pastry sheets, one by one, and brush the top of each sheet with the butter using a pastry brush
  9. Using a slotted spoon to drain off the cooking liquid, place the apple & sultana mixture on the pastry forming a line along the long edge
  10. Sprinkle the rest of the pastry evenly with the Demerara sugar
  11. Using the tea towel/baking parchment as an aid, roll the pastry into a log shape, tucking in the ends so the filling doesn't fall out and place it onto the greased oven tray
  12. Brush the top with melted butter and bake for 30-35 minutes
  13. Serve hot
H is for Home Harbinger