Sunday, 10 May 2009

Puff pastry madness

I decided to try something sweet from the recipe book...I wanted to spend the day baking, but couldn't really be bothered with something skill intensive like a cake or hand made pastry. I selected Eccles cakes from the 'pastry' section as they used shop bought puff pastry but would be delicious. After making these little fruity beauties I realised I had a load of pastry left so I flipped slightly further on in this section and found the perfect recipe for using up the left over - Sausage roll - as I had a couple of sausages left in the fridge. When I'd done this there was STILL some left, and what with moneygedon going on I couldn't throw any away so made cheese straws with the last tiny pieces. Again my mum's writing is in black and my comments re in blue - I made some pretty big changes to the amounts so take note!

(One of your Dad's favourites)
4oz Puff Pastry - I'm not really sure how much pastry I used - about 3/4 of a pack of fresh pre-rolled pastry from Sainsbury's
1oz butter - this didn't look enough once I'd upped the fruit (see below so chucked another 2 oz in there)
4oz currents - couldn't get currents from the shop so had to get mixed fruit - and hence didn't put in the mixed peel but upped the amounts of fruit overall - 5 oz still didn't look enough so upped the amount to 6oz or maybe more
1oz mixed peel (optional)
Mixed spice - didn't have this so added some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger myself
1oz sugar - I used some really dark muscavado sugar and upped the amount to about 3 oz - this was probably too much though as you will see from the pictures sugar bubbled out of them

1. Roll out pastry. Not necessary if you've cheated and got pre-rolled although actually I rolled it out a bit more to make it go further
2. Cut into large rings. If, like me, you have no biscuit cutters you can use anything circular of the right size and either run a knife round it or use something like a mug/glass/vase and push it into the pastry
3. Mix fruit, spices, sugar and butter together. Ok I have to admit here that earlier I had got out the bible - sorry I mean Delia's complete cookery course (a stone cold essential in any kitchen) - to check how much fruit she used and she said she melted the butter and added the fruit and this seemed like a good idea seeing as my butter was really hard
4. Put spoonful of fruit mixture into each pastry ring. Mum - I think it is, strictly speaking, a disc rather than a ring. I hate to be pedantic but...actually no I love being pedantic.
5. Wet edges of pastry. I had a mug of water on hand and I applied the water with my finger
6. Peel edges together and seal. This is the fun bit - so satisfying
7. Turn over, so seal is underneath
8. Roll gently on top.
9. Brush with beaten egg. I had another mug with a beaten egg and used our nice silicon pastry brush for this
10. Slit tops to allow steam (and massive amounts of caramelised sugar) to escape
11. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar. I didn't bother with this - don't think they would have been any better with it either
12 Bake in hot oven for 10-12 minutes

Sausage Rolls - MUST BE PUFF
1 pack puff pastry - well only 1/4 of a pack really needed
1/2 sausage meat (pork)
(or just squeeze filling out of sausages) - this is what I did my advice would be to get good sausages
I also added a spoonful of mustard, some dried sage and black pepper

1. Roll out pastry onto floured surface until thickness of a pound coin. Pre-rolled pastry is about this thick anyway
2. Cut into rectangle about 12" by 6"
3. Cut in half lengthways
4. Roll half the sausage meat in floured hands into a long 'sausage' (about 12"). Why the inverted commas?
5. Lay
this along one side of the pastry
6. Wet edges of pastry
7. lift bottom of pastry over sausage and seal edges together
8. Slit the top of the pastry to release the steam

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