Tag Archives: pastry

Sweet potato & tofu pie with rye shortcrust

18 Feb

There’s no hiding the fact that this crust is crumbly as all hell. So crumbly that it was transported to work for lunches in the mini terracotta dish in which it was baked. So crumbly that it nigh-on shatters at the sight of a knife. But is this a really bad thing? Is it?

Not sure about that. This was a good pie. A good pie. It would have been vegan too, if it weren’t for those pesky kids …. or Woman’s 10pm panic at the failure of the pastry dough to bind, thus placing her in an egg vs oil conundrum. O, the choices of Solomon! The yolk won out, but should you prefer to go for a vegan pastry, I’m sure more oil would do the trick.

This is obviously a savoury sweet potato pie (pumpkin would also do nicely). Tofu here manages to lighten the pie which would, without it, simple be encased mashed sweet potato.

Sweet potato & tofu filling

  • 2 C chopped sweet potato
  • 170g silken tofu
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of lemon juice

Rye shortcrust pastry (enough dough for 2x10cm round pie trays or one large one)

  • 2 C wholemeal rye flour
  • 1/3 C vegetable oil
  • 2 TBSP cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp (+) salt

Heat oven to 200c. Chop sweet potato, lightly drizzle in oil and cook for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potato becomes mashable.

Meanwhile, mix the pastry ingredients. Roll into a ball and cover in cling film. Leave in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Cut in dough and roll to about 3mm in thickness (No need to actually measure it. Just roll it thin, but not crazy thin). Line oiled pastry dishes with the pastry and blind bake for about 15 minutes or until entirely cooked through.

Meanwhile… mash (or blitz) sweet potato and tofu. We used a dash of lemon for additional flavour, but you could try chili or fresh herbs, chopped olives or whatever floats your proverbial.

Pack filling into cooled pastry shells. No need to actually cook the tofu, you can eat as is, cold or re-heat the whole pie.

Estimated cost: £2.10

Musical accompaniment: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros


Dark chocolate ganache tarts (ManWoman vs Bourke St Bakery, take two)

1 Dec

So, not daunted by the less than perfect first attempt at a pate brisee, Man Woman tackled the BSB cookbook again. Fear has no meaning in this flat. 

And this time, we gave ourselves time and defrosted the frozen pastry cases the day before, planning to make the custard for chai-spiced creme brulee tarts the night before we had guests over. We were very pleased with our impressive level of organisation.

Only to find, Bourke Street thwarted us again. In fact, it takes two days to make the custard – one night, you see, for the milk to infuse the chai spices. My bloody oath. Anyway, so this left Woman (for in truth, the rouse is up, Man was in Warsaw on work at this venture) with a conundrum, and forced her to go to Waitrose in the middle of the night in her gym gear and buy chocolate. Never before has she been made to feel like such a ‘woman’.

This recipe is inspired by the Bourke Street ganache, but they called for milk chocolate and we can’t be having that. Also they called for heavier cream, which I didn’t have to hand and I’ll be damned if I go back to the supermarket even later at night for double cream. I have some dignity.

What ensued was very, very rich – but quite yum. Definitely in need of some berries to lighten the load and, perhaps, a long digestive period after mains to make room.

Dark chocolate ‘ganache’ tarts (makes 5 tarts)

  • 200g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 200ml single cream (18% fat)
  • punnet of raspberries
  • punnet of blueberries
  • icing sugar for dusting
  • 1/4 portion of Bourke Street Bakery cookbook pate brisee (sorry, can’t bring myself to plaigarise)

So, crack good quality dark chocolate into a large bowl. Bring cream to boil in a saucepan and immediately  pour over dark chocolate, stirring until blended. Pour (or, seriously this is thick stuff, you’ll have to dollop or spoon or heave it) into cooked pastry shells.

Top with berries and icing sugar before serving. Watch guests struggle to finish against their will.

Estimated cost: £8

Musical accompaniment: Janis Joplin

ManWoman vs the Bourke Street Bakery: Pâte brisée, take one

25 Nov

One of the advantages of being so vocally food obsessed, is this obsession is routinely fed, as it were, by friends. Our friends are feeders. Man Woman have been brought mamma-made Kurdish breads from Gothenberg, mamma-made spanakopita from Thessaloniki, home grown herbs from about the place. It’s a sweet gig.

One of our most loved, and daunting, food-related gifts has been the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook. Being from Sydney we felt something of a national pride at looking through the amazing, hardcover book, involving multi-page recipes for everything from pizza dough to puff pastry. We’ve already picked the low-hanging fruit from the book. But last week, we took on the pate brisee (sweet pastry).

What ensued was not perfect (we have learned we must cut larger pastry discs), but despite the preparation time being spread out over days, plucking a flaky, buttery, delicate piece of hot pastry out of the oven was worth every re-reading of the dense instructions. Also, we left the timing way too late, so we couldn’t make the chocolate ganache we intended, but had to cobble together a raspberry-topped ricotta filling. Passable.

You may now view our valiant, if imperfect, attempt.

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