I was watching Jamie Oliver’s TV show this week and saw him making some very good looking pasties. If pasties are good, they are very very good. If they are bad they are horrid. And I have had more of my fair share of horrid than I have of good, even in Devon and Cornwall.
But, as with most things food related, they are always far tastier when home-made. So, that is what got me in the mood for making some tasty little pastry packages! I wanted to make them with a twist on tradition though. It would be good to feature something seasonal, and what sprung to mind was chestnuts.
Actually, it was probably chestnut mushrooms which I have been buying alot recently to use in mushroom risotto. Anyway, chestnuts stuck in my mind so here we are with a seasonal little number. Perfect party food. These are on the (small) list of food I will be making at our Christmas party this year alongside mince pies and copius amount of Brandy laden mulled wine to get everyone in the party spirit and dancing to silly sentimental Christmas music until the early hours!!
The pasty recipe has been adapted from Stephanie Alexander’s “The Cook’s Companion”, one of my favourite cookbooks. I added a cream cheese layer to them but you could add Brie . The pastry recipe however comes from another favourite writer of mine. Yes, it’s Josceline Dimbleby again! But, let me tell you it is by far the most well behaved AND delicious pastry I have ever made (apart from Delia’s flaky pastry). Actually, I did replace the yoghurt for sour cream in her recipe as I like the rich creaminess of it. I am now going to use this pastry religiously for ALL my future savoury pasty creations. The pickled red cabbage is my own, and it’s sharpnes works well with these rich, nutty delights!
Little chestnut pasties with sour cream pastry & pickled red cabbage
Ingredients :~ Makes 16 approx
For the filling :~
1 small onion finely chopped
1 stick celery finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
200g cooked chestnuts ( I used vacuum packed ) roughly chopped
50g walnuts roughly chopped
60g/3 rashers smoked streaky bacon ( you could substitute chestnut mushrooms )
2 eggs ( 1 for the mixture, 1 for egg wash )
Generous dash of cream to loosen up the mixture
Cream cheese for the cheese layer of the filling
For the pastry :~
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium egg
150g sour cream
300g plain flour
1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the cabbage :~
1/2 a small red cabbage
1tbsp light brown sugar
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the filling :~
Fry the onion, celery, bacon and garlic on a medium heat in a little olive oil for a few minutes.
Transfer to a bowl.
In the same pan fry the chestnuts and walnuts for a couple of minutes in a little oil.
When cool chop the chestnuts and walnuts up into small pieces and add them to the onion mixture.
Add one of the eggs and the cream to loosen the mixture.
For the pastry :~
Melt the butter and leave it to cool.
Whisk the oil and egg in a jug with the sour cream.
Add the melted butter.
Sift the flour, bicarb of soda and salt together in a bowl.
Add the sour cream mixture and stir to combine.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the mixture comes together.
For the red cabbage :~
Chop the red cabbage finely ( I did it in a food processor ).
Transfer it to a bowl.
Add the sugar, salt and balsamic vinegar.
Mix thoroughly. Cover and leave in the fridge until ready to serve.
Assembling the pasties :~
Break the pastry into two and roll out one half until it’s fairly thin.
Use a large circular cutter to cut out circles of pastry.
Fill each circle with about one teaspoon of the mixture along one side.
Put a couple of small teaspoons of cream cheese on top of the chestnut mixture.
Pull over the pastry to enclose the filling and wet the edge of the pasty with the other egg you are using to stick the pasties together and for glazing before baking.
Crimp the edges together.
Lay the made pasties onto baking trays lined with baking parchment.
Let them rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Now pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
After resting, glaze the mini pasties with the egg wash.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Serve warm with the pickled red cabbage salad.