Cheddar, Apple and Pickle Pasties
With a few warmer days thoughts turn to picnics and informal outside dining. Steve has been busy preparing for our famous grazing platters and made these cute dinky cheddar, apple and pickle pasties to feature proudly. They are about three bites big and look as pretty as a picture.
They are ideal for lunch boxes, picnics or served as a snack at a drinks parties. Steve makes these every day so his hand is very well trained by now shaping and making them. Shaping the pasties takes a bit of practice, it’s good fun and you can encourage the whole family to get involved. If you like the look of them make a large enough batch, freeze the raw pasties in layers divided with parchment paper and defrost the amount you need as and when required. I recommend that you defrost them completely before cooling in the fridge over night.
To create the pasty shape you need to cut a large enough circular piece of pastry, we use a good quality puff pastry, then spoon a generous amount of mix in the centre of the pastry, brush the edges with egg yolk and then fold the pastry in half to create a half moon shape. Crimp the rounded edge by pinching the pastry to create a scalloped edge. Once shaped let them rest in the fridge for about an hour before baking. This will ensure the pastry rests and prevents it from losing its shape when baking.
You can create your own flavour combination for the filling. If you are using meat and making the pasties this small I recommend you cook the meat first, and ensure the mix is as dry as possible to prevent it from leaking. If using cheese choose a strong tasting cheese, the cheddar we used is mighty strong, it’s too strong to eat neat however once cooked and mixed into something it’s perfect and very tasty indeed.
Other flavour combinations that will be just as tasty:
- Broccoli, Walnut and Stilton (use raw broccoli, finely chopped, mix in a generous amount of crumbed stilton and toasted crumbed walnuts)
- Curried Lamb and Swede (use lamb mince that is cooked with curry spices and plenty of grated swede, once the cooked mix is cooled stir in a few spoons of thick mango chutney)
- Fennel, Apple Chutney and Rocket (finely shaved fennel; mix with apple chutney and mix in chopped rocket leaves)
- Ras-al-hanout, Spiced Butternut Squash and Chickpea (grated butternut squash, add soaked sultanas, ras-al-hanout and roughly crushed chickpeas, stir in some tahini paste a spoon of honey add a dash of lemon juice)
- Chicken, Sage and Celeriac (roast chicken finely flaked - brown and white meat mixed - grated celeriac, chopped fresh sage and plenty of grain mustard)
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 apples, skin on coarsely grated (choose apples of your choice)
- 2 tablespoons Stokes pickle (use brand of your choice)
- 500g grated very strong extra mature cheddar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 1kg good quality puff pastry
In a medium frying pan over medium heat sauté the diced onion and garlic with seasoning for 8 - 10 minutes until golden brown, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mix to a bowl to cool completely.
While the onions are cooling roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface till about 3mm thickness, use a 10cm pastry cutter to cut approximately 24 disks, place them on a lined tray and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mix the cooled onions with the pickle, grated cheddar, apple and sage, if you personally like a bit more pickle add more to taste, remember to not add too much as the mix needs to be fairly dry but still sticky.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Spoon a tablespoon of the mix in the center of each pastry disk, brush the edges with the beaten egg yolk and fold the pastry over to form a half moon shape, pinch and fold the half moon edge to crimp the pastry. Brush each pastry with more egg yolk to glaze and place them on the lined baking tray.
Leave the pasties to rest for 1 hour before baking.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C and bake the pasties for 15 - 18 minutes, till the pastry is crisp golden brown, well puffed and cooked, let the pasties cool on a baking tray beofre serving.
Store the pasties in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.
Makes approximately 24 mini pasties
We like the folk from Stokes, it's a Suffolk based business and with the pickle made less than 10 miles from the British Larder Suffolk HQ it's the perfect choice for us. Please read a bit more about our ethos and what it is that we do. www.britishlardersuffolk.co.uk