I went Christmas shopping today and I spent most of my time – and money! – in a cooking store, where between one present and another, I bought two cute mini cooking ‘toys‘ that you can use inside the oven.
I couldn’t resist and I wanted to use them tonight so I cooked a mini pie!
This recipe is the mix of a few different recipes together.
I got the idea from reading the Observer food monthly and I ended up using a piece of one recipe and a piece of another one to create my own little pies!
For once I prepared every bit of the recipe: home-made puff pastry and real bechamel included!!!
The puff pastry recipe was given to me by a friend and ex-colleague who I worked with in an amazing Italian deli in London.
She was the main chef and I learned this very easy and delicious recipe from her, so thank you!
Puff Pastry Ingredients:
(I had only 2 moulds so I divided the quantities in half. These quantities will make approx 4 to 6 mini pies).
200 gr Flour
100 ml Water
100 ml Seeds Oil – I used peanut oil
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of yeast – the same one you use for baking cakes
You just have to place all the ingredients inside a bowl, stick your fingers inside the bowl and move them until you get a dough.
It’s so easy and you will be so proud of your home-made puff pastry!!!
Now that you are smiling and you have your incredible puff pastry ball in your hands, you should divide it in smaller balls and cover the inside of the mini cooking trays. Keep two small balls to make a cover to use after.
The dough is ready! You now have to prepare all the ingredients for the inside!
Ingredients for Bechamel:
20-30 gr Butter
2 spoons of Flour
1/2 l Milk
First of all melt your butter inside a pot and add the flour gently whil starting to stir with a whisk until you have a yellowish cream.
Pour the milk – that you have pre-heated – and keep stirring to avoid lumps! Bechamel can be very bastard so be careful!
It has to cook for a bit – honestly I can’t remember how long but you can taste it and if your bechamel still tastes like flour then it has to cook a bit longer. When you are happy with the taste add salt and nutmeg!
Now my pie is missing the filling and I wasn’t sure if I wanted a vegetarian, meat or fish version so I checked inside my fridge and I found two slices of ham and a piece of smoked trout and I decided that one of my mini pie was going to be veggies and ham and the other one veggies and fish!
Ingredients for the filling:
Vegetables such as mushrooms, leek, pumpkin
Ham or fish or chicken or just the veggies!
I cooked the veggies in a frying pan for a bit just to make sure that they were actually cooked and also so that the leek could give away a bit of water.
After I put one spoon of bechamel at the bottom of the pie and a layer of vegetables on top of it.
I topped one of the mini pie with ham and the other one with fish.
I topped both with more bechamel and I covered them with a disk of puff pastry making sure the pie was sealed.
My mini pies were now ready for the oven trip!
I let them cook for 20 minutes at least and, of course both of them exploded!!! Ok I’m definitely exaggerating but they leaked a bit!
The result was good! I loved both of them but I’m sure I can work on it and make them even better…I will try again… so far the first attemptit was a good one!