Blimey it’s been warm this weekend and lucky me, I’ve predominantly spent it in my kitchen or sorting out our eldest’s bedroom ready for his triumphant return from Uni next weekend. The latter involved me removing all my Lucy Loves plates, glasses, cutlery and trays from his room which had fashioned itself into some sort of storage facility. My thoughts, from my position next to the oven/Magimix, had turned to picnics, one of my favourite summer activities. My book group has a picnic every June and with this in mind, I decided to pop together these Tiny Picnic Pies in preparation.
Picnics and pastry based items go hand in glove for me. As a child, a trip to the beach meant a hard boiled egg, a sandy sandwich and a packet of crisps, so I have tried to upgrade my menu since then. These Tiny Picnic Pies are super low maintenance and basically involve a packet of puff pastry and the contents of your fridge as fillings. Feel free to make your own pastry, my ricotta based one would work well here as it’s not too soft, but if time is tight, a good all butter bought one is fine and no one’s judging. As for fillings for your pies, it’s basically up to you. I’m all about using up the contents of my fridge and cupboard at the moment; I hate waste and always have so many bits and bobs to use up, these are a great outlet for just those bits. I went for some sliced sharp apple, brie and truffle honey; I know this sounds poncey, but it was a hostess gift from a lovely friend and worked super well with the apple. For simpler tastes, use strong cheese with good ham. No mustard or chutney to upset my youngest and his phobias, but I would add it for more adventurous types. Or use these as a sweet treat with some jam, chocolate, marshmallows, lemon curd, it’s all about using up what you have.
Don’t feel you have to restrict these to eating outdoors. These would make a great pre dinner nibble or something to leave for the children to eat when they get in from school. I don’t need any excuse to eat a pastry based nibble, and once you’ve tried these Tiny Picnic Pies, I think you will join me, indoors or out.
This recipe will feature on Lucy Loves later this week.
Tiny Picnic Pies Recipe
Makes 8 to 10
You won’t need any exciting equipment for this recipe
1 Packet all butter puff pastry, or make your own, this Ricotta pastry recipe would work well
Fillings of your choice, for example, a lovely sharp apple, brie, honey, ham, strong cheddar, mustard, sautéed mushrooms, goats cheese, chutney, jam, chocolate, marshmallows, the possibilities are endless
1 egg, beaten, to seal and glaze
Sesame seeds or herbs for sprinkling if you like
Make a start by lining a baking sheet and pre heating your oven to 170 degrees fan assisted.
Take your pastry out of the packet, or make a batch of your own, this recipe is lovely.
If your pastry isn’t pre rolled, then roll out to a thickness of around 1cm. Using a 6 to 8cm cutter, or a glass, cut the pastry into circles. Re-roll any scraps to make more circles. Don’t forget you will need equal numbers of tops and bottoms.
Prepare your fillings. I used some lovely sharp apples, sliced, with some brie and honey and some strong cheddar and good ham in the others. Lay your fillings onto one circle of pastry, leaving a good border for sealing the pies. Don’t be tempted to over fill as your pies will explode and leak.
Brush around the borders of the pastry circles with egg wash then seal with a another circle of pastry. Press down on the edges with a fork to seal the edges. Use some more egg wash to brush the tops of your pies and decorate with some sesame seeds or herbs if you like.
Place on your lined baking sheet and bake in your pre heated oven for around 15 to 20 minutes or until golden, oozing a little and smelling divine.
Leave to cool slightly before devouring or keep in the fridge until needed and serve at room temperature or slightly re-heated in a hot oven for 5 minutes.