Tasty Pastry

Frozen dough/pastry sheets are a very good backup option and can rescue you from a day of boring food.

Over the last few months, I’ve found a lot of use for pastry sheets having created savoury and sweet dishes with it. It’s one of those ingredients that can be stuffed, topped, decorated with various other ingredients. You can buy pizza dough, plain pastry sheets, puff pastry sheets to create a variety of dishes out of them. You could even create an entire fancy dinner menu using just pastry. If you’re not too fond of frozen food, making the pastry and freezing it is an option. You could use this(regular) or this(puff) method to make the pastry.

Pies!

Do you have leftover fruits or are craving something deliciously sweet? Whip up a pie in no time. All you need is fruit(s), sugar and pastry sheets! My go to pies are usually berry or nuts pies, but I have also been experimenting with tropical fruits like mangoes and it still works well! You could always use them fresh, frozen or canned.

Recipe: For a normal sized pie (8 slices)

  1. Berries/Fruits: Chop your fruits to make up to 5-6 cups.
  2. Sugar: 3/4th cup sugar
  3. Water: about 3/4th cup
  4. Cornstarch: 3 tbsps (optional)
  5. Pastry sheets or pie crust

Pre-heat the oven to 425 F and line your mold/pan with the pastry sheet. Make a square or rectangular pie if you fancy it!

In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the sugar, cornstarch, water and strawberries. Mix until you get an even consistency (about 8-9 mins). Pour the mixture into the pastry lined pan. If you have more sheets, you cover the base with another layer of pastry and crimp the edges. Don’t forget to make tiny slits/holes for the steam to escape, if you cover the pie. You could also leave it open for a tart like dish. Bake at 425 F for about 15 mins. Remove, cool and refrigerate. You could also skip/reduce the amount of sugar  Run wild with your imagination and top with berries, whipped cream, syrups etc. Store bought pie fillings are essentially the same with preservatives and sugar.  

Alternatively, you could also do savoury pie. Pressure cook or boil all the veggies/meat you want to make a pie out of sweet potatoes/potatoes/cauliflower/chicken. The quantities remain roughly the same. Mix all the veggies/meat once cooked and mix in spices like red chilli powder, pizza/pasta seasonings, cumin powder, cayenne pepper, salt and mix well. Follow the same method but cook longer for about 25 mins. 

Puff/Rough Puffs

A popular tea-time snack or appetizer, puffs can be made with a variety of stuffing (meat or veggie). It also makes for great finger-food in case you are the kind that entertains people often! The pastry needed for this is called puff pastry and is easily available in stores. You could also look for the pastry used to make croissants and make croissants or puffs!

Recipe: Makes 8

  1. Meat/veggies/mushrooms/others: To make 2 cups
  2. Onion: 1 medium sized onion chopped
  3. Cheese (shredded): Cheddar, Swiss pair well with most veggies, mushrooms, and meat: 1/4th cup
  4. Puff pastry: 8 squares of 2-3 inches  or 1-2 inch circles
  5. Oil/butter: 1 tbsp
  6. 1 egg: Optional

Preheat oven to 400 F.  In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil/butter on medium flame. Add the onions and fry until caramelized (about 10-11 mins). Once brown, remove the onions in a big bowl. Add the meat/veggies/mushrooms to the same saucepan and fry until cooked. (almost cooked for the meat). Add it to the same bowl as the onions and top it with the shredded cheese. Add a dash of salt to the mixture and if you feel like pairing it with any spices or seasonings, this is the chance to do so. Mix everything well and keep aside. Take your pastry squares/circle/triangles and add 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of the mix on it. Fold the pastry sheet around the stuffing to completely close it. Crimp the ends with a fork if needed and make tiny holes on the puff. Brushing the top of the puff with egg wash helps with the browning of the puffs, though it is an optional step. You could also make open puffs. Place the puffs on a lined tray and bake in the oven at 400 F for 20-25 mins. Eat hot with ketchup, chutneys or dips.

There are many other things to do with pastry sheets like quiches, pasties (yay to all the Harry Potter fans!), dessert pastry rolls, tartlets, and much more. With a pastry sheet in store, you can never run out of tasty food!