In a spate of Strasbourg-sickness (the alliteration’s all coming out today) I decided to cook some recipes from an Alsacien cookbook that I’d been gifted for my birthday for a family meal. While judged a success, I don’t think the tarte flambée or moelleux au chocolat (chocolate fondant) were quite up to scratch, so I’ll be trying out some other recipes for those.
The starter, however, was pretty delish if I do say so myself 😉 Inspired by a French friend’s picnic contribution (merci Violaine!), the eponymous parcels were really nice hot, though hers were served cold at the picnic (and contained different veg). I took the adventurous step of making my own puff pastry, which went well in spite of dire warnings from my mum and her friend that “puff pastry’s really difficult!” (I had a Bell’s pre-made on stand by, just in case it all went belly-up.) It did take a wee bit of prep time, but with the recipe below then it’s really not that tricky or time-consuming, promise!
I think this made about 16, but it’s all relative with the size of your pastry cutter and how much pastry you make. Try not to fill them too full (in all honesty, they turn out about 95% pastry by the time you try to close the circles over) as they won’t close.
All about the ratios: Flour:Butter:Iced water = 2:2:1. Which translated for me to:
100g iced water
- Make a well in the flour.
- Cube the butter, and put in the flour-well, along with a pinch of salt.
- Pinch the butter and work it together with the flour until the cubes are small and slightly squashed.
- Pour in the iced water and gradually mix – keep on rubbing the butter.
- Do not knead; stop working as soon as it is coming together but there are still a few flakes of butter.
- Roll it away from you into a rectangle, and fold over each side in thirds so that there are 3 layers. Rotate it 90, then repeat the rectangle and folding.
- Wrap it in clingfilm, and rest for at least 20 minutes until just before cooking. Repeat step 6, then cut out circles of pastry and place on a dampened baking sheet. Chill for a further 20 minutes before filling and cooking.
50ml single cream
Salt, pepper, + 1/2 tsp paprika
1 egg yolk
- Dice the pepper and the onion. Soften in a frying pan with a little oil, and season with spices.
- Pour over the cream and stir around.
- Put a little of the filling in each circle and close, pinching together.
- Brush with a little of the egg yolk.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 220oC.