Posts Tagged Pastry

Pâte Brisée (Shortcrust Pastry)

Posted 22 November 2012 by
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Pâte brisée is a shortcrust pastry. It’s not sweet, so it can be used for both savoury and sweet dishes, and it is a little bit lighter and more delicate than pâte a foncer (flan pastry). Shortcrust pastry is ideal for pies and tarts. Here, I’ve used Michel Roux’s recipe for pâte brisée, from his Pastry book (which is excellent).

Pate brisee shortcrust pastry, wrapped around a rolling pin

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Michel Roux’s Puff Pastry

Posted 20 November 2011 by
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Puff pastry — lovely rich, buttery, flaky… don’t you just love it? I do! Not the healthiest thing in the world, but if you’re going to have it, you might as well have it made with butter. Here in the UK it’s surprisingly difficult to find ready made puff pastry in supermarkets that is actually made with butter. The brand sold in most places is full of all kinds of rubbish. A young lady on a recent episode of Come Dine With Me claimed that “puff pastry is so difficult to make that even top chefs buy it ready-made!” I hope not! Or at least, I hope they are buying the good stuff. The truth is, puff pastry is not that difficult to make yourself. It takes a little effort, and some time, but it’s not hard. Plus, most of the time consuming part is when the pastry is relaxing in the fridge, at which time you can relax too!

This is Michel Roux’s recipe for classic puff pastry from his book Pastry. (Check out his recipe for shortcrust pastry too.) This puff pastry is delicious and you can really taste the butter, so if you’re a real butter connoisseur, this is a good time to use good quality butter. I often start it the day before I need it, and one of the resting periods can be overnight. Once you have it, you can use it for all manner of delicious buttery pastry treats, including pies, palmiers and feuilletés.

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Goat’s Cheese, Parmesan and Caramelised Onion Palmiers

Posted 28 February 2011 by
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Palmiers are so easy to make, but I haven’t tried savoury ones up until now. It took me about 5 seconds to decide what fillings to use – sweet caramelised onions, salty parmesan cheese and creamy goat’s cheese go so well together! These can be really simple, if you use ready-made puff pastry (obscenely easy if you use ready-rolled!), and you can use caramelised onions from a jar. Of course, if you’re looking to put a bit more effort into it (and get more credit!) you can make the puff pastry and caramelise the onions yourself. I think the tangy red onion chutney I made back in December would work a treat.

Baked caramelised onion, goat's cheese and parmesan palmier, cooling on a rack. Continue reading “Goat’s Cheese, Parmesan and Caramelised Onion Palmiers”…

Nutella Palmiers

Posted 22 December 2010 by
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Palmiers are not only tasty, they’re really quick and easy to make, especially if you use ready-made puff pastry! (Homemade puff pastry will make them even more delicious though…) My first attempt – nutmeg and white chocolate palmiers – were lovely, but not too pretty. These nutella ones were definitely an improvement, but more practise may be needed! A major selling point is, of course, that they are made of nutella… lovely chocolatey, hazelnutty, gooey nutella…

Puff pastry palmier with nutella chocolate spread. Continue reading “Nutella Palmiers”…

Comfort Food: Chicken and Cheese Pie

Posted 19 December 2010 by
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Comfort food’s a funny thing: everyone’s got their own take on it. I can understand counting sweet things as comfort food, or starchy dishes like pasta. I’ve always found it strange though that some people describe dishes like stews or casseroles as comfort food. I suppose it often has to do with what we associate with childhood, or home. For me, this is comfort food: the chicken and cheese pie (or turkey and cheese, depending on the season) that my mum always used to make. The recipe is adapted from one in All in One Cook Book by Stork & Oxo. I like to use a mixture of shortcrust and puff pastry; shortcrust on the bottom/sides of the pie, and puff pastry on the top. I especially love it when the puff pastry that’s in contact with the pie filling gets a bit soggy!

Slice of chicken and cheese pie on a plate. Continue reading “Comfort Food: Chicken and Cheese Pie”…

Michel Roux’s Shortcrust (Flan) Pastry

Posted 18 December 2010 by
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Shortcrust pastry is really quick and easy to make. Often, it’s simply made of plain flour, butter or lard, water and a pinch of salt. The shortcrust recipe I’m using is for flan pastry, otherwise known as pâte à foncer, from Michel Roux’s Pastry. It has the addition of an egg, and happily it’s still very quick and easy to make. Pâte à foncer is one of Michel’s basic shortcrust pastry recipes in the book, the other being pâte brisée. The flan pastry, he says, is crispier and less delicate.

Shortcrust flan pastry lining a pie dish.

My shortcrust flan pastry lining a pie dish.

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Nutmeg, Cream Cheese and White Chocolate Palmiers

Posted 8 December 2010 by
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These nutmeg, cream cheese and white chocolate palmiers were inspired by these palmiers from Cookin’ Canuck. I’ve never made palmiers before although I’ve wanted to for a while. They looked easy to make and they were really, although I might need a bit of practise at rolling the puff pastry up into the palmier shape. My finished specimens lacked visual finesse, but were very tasty. They weren’t as chocolatey as I imagined; the main flavours are the cream cheese and nutmeg.

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