Tuesday 4 September 2012

Alphabakes: Creamy pasties with peas or pumpkin

It may have been a photographic challenge, but these pasties were easy to whip up after Open House Melbourne some weeks back on a cold July night.  That seems a long time ago.  Spring is here, the sun is shining and the washing is drying on the line.

I found the recipe for Pea Tarragon and Cream Cheese Pithiviers in Australian BBC Good Food magazine. I don't have a good understanding of pithiviers.  Wikipedia says it is a pretentious way of saying pie on English menus.  To me they were more like pasties.  Pies are like little cups.  Pasties are flat pieces of pastry with filling and another sheet of pastry on top. 

Hey I can't be pretentious when I use a plastic lid from a tub of dried papaya to cut out the circles.  Even then, the circles were too fiddly.  After a few I just cut the puff pastry sheets into squares.  Less fuss.  Less waste.

As for the fillings, I made quite a few changes.  I didn't have tarragon so I added pesto instead.  I had some roast pumpkin, olives and artichokes which made a great filling too.  I split the cream cheese filling and made half pea and pesto, half pumpkin, artichoke and olives.  I topped them with different seeds to make sure I knew what was in each pasty.  Quite useful, given that E was more keen on the pea pasties.

I loved both versions of these pasties.  The pea ones weren't quite as green as in the picture or as perfectly found and scored but they tasted delicious.  I even took one to work the next day to eat cold for my lunch.  I can confidently say these are great anytime, anywhere.

I am sending these pasties to Caroline of Caroline Makes who is hosting  September's Alphabakes.  It is an event she run with Roz of The More than Occasional Baker.  Each month they choose a letter and challenge bloggers to bake something either with ingredients or a recipe starting with that letter.  This month it is P for Pasties (pastries, pumpkin, pesto, peas, and poppyseeds)

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Cherry Ripes for We Should Cocoa
Two years ago: Port Fairy - a welcome break
Three years ago: Superhero Cake – Kapow!
Four years ago: A not-so-nasty pasty

Creamy Pasties (with pea and pumpkin options)
Adapted from BBC Good Food
makes 6

3 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
3-4 shallots, finely chopped and fried in olive oil til golden
250g cream cheese
rind of half a lemon
1/2 tsp french lavender salt
milk to glaze pastry

Pea option:
1 cup peas
1 dessertspoon pesto
poppyseeds for sprinkling

Pumpkin option:
1 cup roasted pumpkin
2 tbsp chopped olives
2 tbsp chopped artichokes
1/4 tsp dried wild garlic (or garlic powder)
sesames seeds for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 200 C.  Line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.

Divide cream cheese, shallots, lemon rind, salt and pepper between two small mixing bowls.  Add peas and pesto into one bowl and pumpkin, olives, artichokes and wild garlic into second bowl.  Mix each bowlful until well combined.

Either cut pastry squares into quarters (the easier option) or use a round guide to cut circles (the prettier option).  Place 6 squares or circles on baking trays.  Divide the mixture among these squares or circles.  Spread out, leaving 1-2 cms clear pastry along the edges.  Brush edges with milk.  Top with remaining 6 pieces of pastry and press around the edges with fingertips.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds on one lot and poppyseeds on another lot to differentiate.  (Or you could make decorations with pastry scraps.)  Make a few slits with a knife to allow steam to escape.

Bake for 25-35 minutes until golden brown.  Eat hot or at room temperature.  They keep well overnight in the fridge.

On the stereo:
Love: The Beatles


  1. I don't know; surely having dried papaya is a little bit pretentious? :P I kinda just love the whole "alphabakes" name and concept!

    1. Thanks Hannah - I guess dried papaya could be seen as pretentious - I only because it because Sylvia wanted it because it was pink - so it didn't seem a pretentious purchase - can't stand the stuff!

  2. These look very impressive, even if a plastic lid was used in the making :) I'm fairly sure I'd give up on circles too and when something is hot and tasty I don't think anyone cares too much about whether it's a circle or square in shape. My tastebuds ask me to take out the cream cheese, which would probably ruin everything!, but I love the sound of the pumpkin one.

    1. Thanks Kari - I usually shy away from creamy recipes - if the photos hadn't looked more green than creamy on the magazine I probably wouldn't have been as interested. I wondered if I could make this with tofu cashew ricotta instead of cream cheese. My photo does look very creamy but it didn't taste overwhelmingly so!

  3. Brilliant entry for AlphaBakes and a very good use of P! Thanks for entering these delights to our challenge and hope to see you again next month :)

  4. These look really yummy, and plenty of Ps in there - thanks for entering Alphabakes!

  5. Very nice pastry!!! my stomach is shouting its agreement :)


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