Saturday, June 02, 2007

An Apple a Day...

Funny how something suddenly comes to mind. Yesterday I had been puzzling how to make a vegetarian pastie with a moister filling. Didn't have any ideas, but then late last night, whilst watching TV, and just about nodding off - adding apple sauce - came into my mind. Apples and cheese do go together so could be one solution. This morning I awoke to the thought of adding grated apple instead of the sauce. Well worth a try.

Today I am including recipes for a vegetarian pie filling, to be cooked with pastry either under a pie lid, or in a pastry case, these might suit for the picnic pasties. Cheese and Corn Pie filling - enough for an 8" pie to serve four
1 oz (25g) each butter and flour
1/2 pt (300ml) milk
6 oz (175g) cooked sweetcorn
4 oz (125g) Red Leicester or Mature Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp made mustard
1 tblsp chopped parsley
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
small can of tuna, drained and flaked (optional)
Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and heat gently, stirring all the time until thickened. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the other ingredients, season to taste and place in a pie dish. Cover with shortcrust pastry and bake at 200C. 400F, gas 6 until golden. Can be served hot or cold.

Ploughman's Pasty filling - makes four or more
1 onion, grated
1 cooking apple, (peeled,cored and grated)
1 large slice of bread,
4 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
1 tblsp chutney
1 tsp. mixed fresh herbs (parsley, chives etc)
1 /2 tsp made mustard
Mix together the grated onion, apple and cheese. Stir in the chutney and herbs, the mustard and add salt and pepper to taste. Use to fill circles of pastry to make Pasties.
Alternatively, roll out pastry to a rectangle (12"x 20") 30 x 25cm , place the filling in the centre and leaving one end uncut to 2"down,cut slanting strips down each side about 1/2 " apart (1cm) apart. Moisten these strips with water and fold over the top end onto the filling then each side alternatively to make a sort of plait. Seal ends, brush with egg and bake at 200C, 400F, gas 6 for 30 - 40 minutes until golden and crisp (cover with foil half-way through cooking time if browning too quickly), Can be served hot or cold with a green salad.

Cheese and Nut Pastie filling - makes four
8 oz (227g) cottage cheese
3 spring onions, finely chopped after removing most of the green part
4 oz (110g) Cheddar, finely grated
4 oz (110g) Wensleydale cheese, finely grated
1 sachet (or three tblsp) cup-a-soup type dry mix (asparagus or broccoli and cauli)
Dash of Tabasco or Worcestershire sauce
2 - 3 (50-75g) salted peanuts, finely chopped
Little milk to moisten as necessary
Place the cheeses, onions, salt and peanuts in a bowl and blend in the soup mix, and sauce of your choice.
Add a little milk to moisten (about 2 tblsp) then use as a pastie filling.
Alternative serving:
Omit the milk and peanuts, shape the mixed filling into a block and refrigerate for one hour or until firm.
Cut into 1" (2.5cm) cubes and toss into the finely chopped peanuts. When well coated, keep chilled and serve as a party nibble.