Tuesday, December 14, 2010

They're just cookies

When I was in high school, I was the show choir accompanist. I was nowhere as cool as the piano player with the beard in "Glee" who Husband loves, but I was pretty hardcore nevertheless. For example, I totally got mono from my boyfriend one December, during the show choir's busy season. I remember sitting at a baby grand at a country club somewhere robotically playing "Here Comes Santa Claus" while the choir director waved her hand in front of my face, trying to get my attention. I was really sick, but I would not stop. Must. Play. Christmas songs. And. Showtunes. At. All. Costs.

Anyway. Every so often I'd get to come out from behind the piano. One Christmas, the choir gathered in a charming vignette to sing an a capella version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." Several of us were chosen to interject lovely little spoken-word memories of Christmas. While my fellow show choir-ers talked about Santa Claus and gifts and youthful memories and elven magic, when it came my turn I said something like, "I remember coming home from church of Christmas Eve to delicious trays of cookies and coffee."

Yes, cookies and coffee. Baked goods are really important at Christmastime.

We would always bake our Christmas cookies from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, a tome about which I've gushed effusively in the space in the past. There were always chocolate crinkles, Russian teacakes, jubilee jumbles and lemon squares displayed artfully on a porcelain tray shaped like a Christmas tree. Well, it was artful for a second, but then we got our hands on the tray and all hell broke loose. Powdered sugar everywhere.

And then there were the cream wafers. Too delicate and pretty to be scarfed like the jubilee jumbles, I always thought of the cream wafers as "adult" cookies. They were fancy, and scalloped, and filled with a pastel frosting and coated in a thin layer of sparkling, sandy sugar. They were called "wafers." Clearly too grown-up to be inhaled by the children. For that reason, I hardly ever ate them when I was little. Which is completely ridiculous, you know, because they're just cookies. But in my little head, they were to be relished and savored in a way that demanded a certain maturity.

So now that I'm, like, mature and stuff, I made a batch. And they are amazing. And now I am kicking myself for missing out for so long. Decades lost to inaccurate cream wafer perception. Tragic.

Just think how compelling my spoken-word show-choir vignette contribution would have been had I been eating the cream wafers.


Adapted from Betty Crocker's Cooky Book

The note in the book says, "Delicate pastry-like rounds with a rich filling. A lovely addition to the cooky trays for a tea or reception." Indeed. The dough bakes up almost like puff pastry, to the point that you have to dock it to prevent too much rise. Dainty and charming and melty on the tongue. Divine.

The dough has to chill for at least an hour, or overnight if you like. And if life gets in the way and you don't get back to your cream wafer dough for a few days, don't worry. The dough really can hold in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The wafers:
1 c. unsalted butter
1/3 c. whipping cream
2 c. all-purpose flour, sifted
About 1/2 c. sugar, to roll the cookies
1 batch creamy butter filling (below)

Creamy butter filling:
1/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 egg yolk (pasteurized, if you are so inclined)
1 t. vanilla

First, make the dough. Place the butter and cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream until they are well combined. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; chill at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days.

When you are ready to make the cookies, remove the dough from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you want to work with it, to allow it to warm up enough to be rolled. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the sugar on a plate. Roll the dough to 1/8" thickness on a lightly floured board. Cut into 1 1/2" rounds, using a fluted cutter if desired. Place the cookies on the plate with the sugar, turning to coat both sides (you might have to press a bit to get the sugar to stick).

Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Prick the cookies with a fork to "dock" the dough. Bake 7-9 minutes, until slightly puffy.

Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, powdered sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until well-combined. Divide the filling in half; tint half with red food coloring and half with green.

To assemble the cookies, sandwich two cookies together with about 1/2 t. of filling.

Makes about 3 dozen filled cookies.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: cocoa blocks
Two years ago: chocolate-almond saltine toffee

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This just makes me happy

So it's Thanksgiving eve. I put the 16-pound bird in my traditional Ace Hardware five-gallon poultry bucket, poured over the all spice-, ginger- and black peppercorn-spiced brine, and headed to my parents' house to leave it overnight in their "walk-in" (a.k.a. their screened-in back porch, winterized with heavy duty plastic that keeps it around a perfect 40 degrees).

When I got there, Mom and Dad were kicking it old school:

Dad hasn't made pies in years. Years, I tell you. But when I was growing up, he made pies all the time. In fact, his pie and bread exploits inspired my love of baking. I have him to thank for this little obsession of mine, and it was awesome to see him in full effect. (Mom, for her part, was excelling at one of her most valuable skills: MAKING STUFFING.)

I am thankful for Dad and his pies, and Mom and her stuffing. And Husband. And Jet pup. And, perhaps most of all, little Son.

May you all enjoy this holiday with your loved ones and a big pile of delicious food. Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Abiding love for an apple

October 25 can never come fast enough. For October 25 is the day each year when the Mutsus arrive.

Do you know the Mutsu? If you don't, I strongly suggest you make its acquaintance. The Mutsu is a tart green apple, a late-fall beauty whose tangy bite slowly gives way, if stored properly, to a subtle sweetness. She's a glory with which to bake, and a treat to eat. I go a little bit crazy waiting for her each year, counting down the days until the end of October, bypassing the lesser apples that are ready earlier. Then, finally, the cool fall sun rises on the 25th and I know what I must do: get to the orchard and buy a peck or two. And while I'm at it, I better get some for my dad. I didn't get him any this year, and I really heard about it. Had to make a special trip back to the orchard just for him.

The Mutsu is so important to me (well, as important as fruit can be to a person) that people who know me well often give me bags of them for my birthday. I load up my car with them and then take photos. It's a little embarrassing, really, such an abiding love for an apple. But I let my Mutsu flag fly.

Now. Even with all this apple-love -- even though I can easily eat my way through peck after peck of Mutsus, biting off big, tart chunks as I journey toward the core -- I still look for ways to bake with them. I feel that the Mutsu deserves a little diversity; maybe she wants to be tossed together with a little flour, sugar and butter and turned into something sweet, something delectable, something new. When I saw this recipe for apple and cheddar scones I got excessively excited. It was yesterday morning, really early (like 6:30 a.m. early) when I spied it. "Oooh," I thought. "The beer fridge is half-full of Mutsus. And I have that cheddar from Cheddar that the cute old British cheese man was sampling at West Point Market the other day." The freshly-baked scones were out of the oven by the time Husband and Jet meandered downstairs for their breakfast.

Now I know that the only thing better than a Mutsu, is an apple and cheddar scone baked with a Mutsu. These babies are amazing: sweet, tart, savory, buttery, possessing a depth of flavor not necessarily expected from a modest triangular lump of dough. I plan to bake a whole lot of them, until the beer fridge doesn't have any apples in it anymore.

However, please note that I stopped at the orchard again today. So it could be awhile.


Adapted from The Perfect Finish, by Bill Yosses and Melissa Clark, via Smitten Kitchen

I doubled the recipe, baked half right away and stashed half in the freezer to bake another day (and by "another day," I mean tomorrow). To bake the frozen scones, just place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for a few minutes longer than the suggested time, keeping an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

Update: Just baked the batch from frozen, and they're even lovelier and tastier than yesterday. So don't hesitate to pursue the bake-some-now, freeze-some-for-later option.

1 lb. firm, tart apples (like, ahem, Mutsus)
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar plus a few more tablespoons for sprinkling
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt plus a pinch for egg wash
6 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Peel and core the apples, and cut each into 16 pieces. Place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake until they take on a little color and are dry to the touch, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. Leave the oven on.

In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.

Place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the cooled apple chunks, cheese, cream and 1 egg. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the top and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together. Do not over-mix. The dough will be very sticky.

Generously flour a work space and place the dough on top of it. Pat the dough into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick and 6 inches in diameter, adding more flour if necessary. Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges. Transfer the scones to a baking sheet that has been lined with a fresh piece of parchment paper, leaving at least 2 inches between each scone. (Note: if you're doubling the recipe, divide the dough in half and make 2 6-inch circles, cutting 6 wedges out of each for a total of 12 scones.)

Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. Brush the scones with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until firm and golden, about 30 minutes. Use a spatula to remove the baked scones to a wire rack; cool for 10 minutes before tucking in.

Makes 6 scones. Which is totally not enough.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: twice-baked cauliflower
Two years ago: ribollita

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bread Baker's Apprentice 18/43: light wheat bread

Please forgive the vulgarity, but I just have to say it: Holy crap! I baked some bread today!

I mean, seriously! I baked bread! It's been so freaking long since the last time I baked bread that I really thought my days of absolutely needing such specialty items as a dough whisk and a couche in my kitchen were over. There wasn't even any good reason for my hiatus. I can't blame lack of time: making homemade bread requires very little active time -- just lots of rising time. I can't blame lack of supplies: my pantry is full of flours, from cake all the way up to high-gluten. I can't blame anything, really, except my sorry-ass self. I forgot how easy -- and how tremendously rewarding -- it is to bake your own bread.

So, back I go to The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge. I swear I am going to finish this thing, I swear. You see, I attended* a three-night cooking class with Peter Reinhart himself at the Western Reserve School of Cooking in June and was inspired anew to immerse myself in all things yeast. Unfortunately, I was way way pregnant and that inspiration was sapped rather quickly by my need to watch old episodes of "Saved By the Bell" in bed. What can I say.

Peter was awesome, though, and very supportive of The Bread Baker's Apprentice challengers (one of my fellow bakers -- Phyl of Of Cabbages and King Cakes, who very long ago rather impressively completed the challenge -- was also in attendance). I learned a lot during those three nights, but my favorite lesson was the realization that I can totally make these breads just as well as Peter can. The delicious samples he shared with the class were amazing, but not much different than the finished breads that come out of my kitchen. Which is not to say that I am so awesome, but rather to say that Peter is a fabulous teacher whether in person or via the pages of a book. It is also to say: bread-making, while seemingly difficult and often perceived as beyond the scope of everyday home cooking, is completely accessible and easily accomplished with just a small investment of time and patience.

Peter was focused almost solely on his Artisan Breads Every Day book, which emphasizes the no-knead method. Not having any experience with no-knead breads, I was fascinated to see just how much gluten can be developed just with a little time and zero effort. Light bulb! The first night was dedicated to multi-purpose lean dough, challah and sweet dough for cinnamon and sticky buns. The star of night number two was focaccia. And on the last night Reinhart gave us pizza dough. So much pizza dough, topped with everything from caramelized onion marmalade to pesto to fresh Roma tomatoes and bright parsley.

Having already completed part of The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge prior to the classes, there was a lot in the Peter Reinhart canon that I already knew. But that certainly didn't mean there wasn't a lot to learn. For example:
  • Use parchment on your peel. I have yet to master the smooth use of the pizza peel; I dust my peel liberally with corn meal or semolina before placing the pizza dough on it, but I can never get the dough to slide effortlessly onto the pizza stone without making a giant mess. Peter's solution: place parchment on the peel, then add the dough, then slide the whole thing off the peel onto the stone. Well, duh. Why didn't I think of that? Brilliant.

  • Contrast is a powerful culinary principle. I knew there was a reason I liked salty with my sweet, and crispy-crunchy with my soft and tender. It is the reason why I work to create a thick, chewy crust on a loaf of hole-y ciabatta.

  • Whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white flour, so to convert a white flour recipe to whole wheat you'll have to add an extra 8-10% hydration to the mix. Very good to know.

  • The baker's job is to evoke the full potential of flavor that's trapped inside the grain.

  • Peter's definition of baking, oft repeated during the course of the three nights is as follows: "Baking is the application of heat in an enclosed environment for the purpose of driving off moisture."
As interesting and informative as these random tidbits are -- culled from the margins of my class notes -- Peter was at his very best when he was letting his seminarian past shine. A one-time member of a holy order, Peter described the act of baking his breads with spiritual metaphor that is more earthy than preachy. Call it the gospel of grain: "Bread is a transformational food," he says, describing the process of taking the living wheat, grinding and milling the life out of it in the process of making flour, then infusing it anew with yeast. Baking then kills the yeast, creating bread, which we eat to sustain our own lives. In the wrong hands, such metaphor could be annoying. But with Peter, it is passionate and honest and sincere, born of a simple love of bread and respect for wheat that produces some of the best loaves you'll ever taste.

And you know what? Bread is transformational, as much as it is elemental to human existence, nourishment and joy. The very best thing I learned those nights is a practical message that any novice bread baker can appreciate: even if your bread fails, people will still love it because it's homemade. "It is always a hit no matter how it comes out."

*Please note: Dad bought the classes for me for Christmas last year. Let it not be said that I failed to acknowledge him publicly for this awesome, most perfect gift. And not only is he generous, but he's handsome, too!


So it seems I've used the occasion of the next challenge recipe -- light wheat bread -- to pontificate about Peter in person. Alliteration aside, let me tell you a little about this bread. It's the only loaf I had made prior to starting The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge, as it's the only recipe in the book that doesn't require more than one day of fermentation. The dough produces a lovely golden sandwich loaf, flecked with whole wheat and ever so slightly sweetened with a touch of honey. The crust is crunchy and firm and the crumb is soft and pocked with small, pleasing holes (see above regarding the importance of contrast).

This is the bread I made when I vowed, oh so long ago, that I would bake all my own bread. I even kept up with it for about a month, churning out a loaf every few days. I need to pick up that habit once again, for light wheat bread is delicious, and satisfying, and easy, and what the hell. Stop reading this and go and bake some.


The Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge asks that we do not share the recipes for the challenge loaves. However, I have it on good authority that you can find the recipe for Reinhart's light wheat bread on the excellent and lovely Smitten Kitchen blog. I'm just sayin'. However, if you're feeling that now is the time to buy Reinhart's book -- hello, finally here's a bread that can be baked in just one day! -- head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy. The recipe starts on page 181.

Finally, in honor of my triumphant return to bread-baking, I have submitted this here light wheat bread to Yeastspotting.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: sesame butter cups
Two years ago: pizza Margherita and pizza with sage-walnut pesto and gorgonzola

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What I have today

Sometimes I have a dynamite recipe that I want to share, but nothing earth-shattering to say about it. No nostalgic recounting of an event in the kitchen of my youth; no profound connection between the recipe and recent goings-on in my life. No convenient seasonal connection or association with far-flung lands. Just a delicious recipe.

This is one of those times. What I have today is just a recipe. A simple recipe for cookies. Cookies that are crumbly and velvety and melty, but that have nothing groundbreaking to say and harbor no clever metaphor or life lesson. What they lack in inspiring gravitas, however, they make up for in butter and toasty, crispy, teased-with-a-pleasing-hint-of-bitterness walnuts.

These cookies are technically called cream cheese-walnut cookies, but I prefer to call them walnut shortbread. They are shortbready in that awesome shattering-with-butter way that brings a tear of joy to my eye as only shortbread can. The toasted walnuts emerge from the buttery crumb, wedged perfectly in the cookie, asserting their own nutty selves. It is a match made in heaven: butter fat with walnut oil. I'm kind of drooling a little right now as I write this.

Thankfully this recipe makes two logs of dough -- one you can bake right away and share with family and friends. You can even take some of them to your dog's vet's office, as I did, because vets deserve treats for safeguarding our best friends. You can then freeze the second dough log and save it for a rainy day: tuck it under your arm and take it over to a friend's house for fresh-baked cookies when they're least expected; or wait until you have to write about them, start to drool, then realize you still have the second log in the freezer, just waiting to be sliced and baked.

Some for now, some for later. Not necessarily profound, but always delicious.


Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t. kosher salt
1 lb. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 c. sugar
2 T. plus 1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 c. walnut halves (1 1/2 c. toasted and chopped, 1 c. finely chopped)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat; set aside.

Place 1 1/2 c. of chopped walnuts on a third baking sheet and toast until brown and aromatic, 6-8 minutes. Remove the walnuts from the oven and set aside.

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the sugar and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined; do not over-mix. Add the toasted walnuts and mix until just combined.

Transfer dough to a clean work surface and divide in half. Shape each piece into a 8 1/2-inch-long log, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 30 minutes. (If you are going to freeze one of the logs for baking at a later date, wrap it in the parchment followed by two layers of plastic wrap.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove one log from the freezer and roll in the remaining 1 c. finely chopped walnuts, coating completely. Cut the log into 1/4-inch rounds. Transfer the rounds to the prepared parchment-lined baking sheets.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until the cookies are just golden around the edges, 18-20 minutes. Do not over-bake! Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely. Repeat the process with the remaining dough on cooled baking sheets (or freeze the remaining dough until later).

Consume, preferably all in one sitting. Forget what I said earlier about sharing them with your dog's vet.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: French bread
Two years ago: sibling rivalry chicken noodle soup

Saturday, October 2, 2010

In the middle of the night

There is something really, really awesome about the Australian Football League. The rules are nearly impossible to grasp, especially to a foreigner like me. (It's not as incomprehensible as cricket, but it's close.) The players tackle each other with abandon, yet nobody wears helmets or pads. The field is elliptical, and there is something called a "behind" which is worth fewer points than a goal. To figure the final score, one has to do math. ("As an example of a score report, consider a match between St Kilda Football Club and the Sydney Swans. St Kilda's score of 15 goals and 11 behinds equates to 101 points. Sydney's score of eight goals and ten behinds equates to a 58 point tally. St Kilda wins the match by a margin of 43 points. Such a result would be written as 'St Kilda 15.11 (101) defeated Sydney Swans 8.10 (58)' and said 'St Kilda fifteen eleven, one hundred and one defeated Sydney Swans eight ten, fifty-eight.'" Solve for x to determine how many behinds your team scored.) The players wear tall socks, often striped. Their supporters sit in the stands wearing fashionable scarves in team colors. And the most crazy business of all? If the teams tie -- even in the Grand Final -- they play a rematch a week later.

So last week, my dear friend Nate's beloved St. Kilda Saints played their hearts out in the Grand Final, only their seventh appearance in the final in their 113-year history. They've only won once, in 1966 (reminds me of a certain Cleveland baseball franchise). And true to the madness of AFL, last week the Saints came from behind, scoring enough behinds, to force a tie against the hated Collingwood Magpies. (The last time there was a tie was in 1977.) It was a freaking awesome game, with a shocking result that left the 100,016 people in the Melbourne Cricket Ground totally silent. And Husband and I were sitting here in Ohio, in the middle of the night, watching the game live and eating homemade meat pies.

Because when you're watching a quintessentially Australian sport, you want to be eating a quintessentially Australian snack. (And drinking a quintessentially Australian beer.) Though my homemade pies were not exactly the same as, say, a Harry's pie, they were a perfectly serviceable and totally delicious approximation. And if you don't mind rolling out shortcrust pastry at midnight, you can even make them to enjoy during the few live footy matches that ESPN airs in this country. The best part of all: the recipe makes eight pies, so you just might have a few left over that you can stash in the freezer, unbaked, to whip out the next week in the event of a Grand Final rematch.

Go Saints!


Adapted from Delicious. magazine; shortcrust pastry from The Cook's Companion, by Stephanie Alexander

I made half of these pies with ground beef and beef stock, and half with ground turkey and chicken stock. And, OK, so I've never seen a turkey pie in Australia. But I don't eat beef (for the most part), and I did a little substituting. Please don't revoke my imaginary Australian passport.

Note: apologies for the strange measurements. I had to convert from metric.

One more note: you'll need 8 disposable pot pie tins for this recipe. I find mine in the baking aisle of the supermarket.

For the shortcrust pastry:

16 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
Big pinch of kosher salt
12 1/2 oz. unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 c. water

Sift the flour and salt directly onto a work surface. Using a box grater, grate the chilled butter into the flour mixture (or you can chop the butter into small pieces and add it to the flour mixture, but honestly, it's randomly fun to grate butter). Toss the butter pieces lightly in the flour, lightly rubbing to combine partly.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the water. Using a pastry scraper, work the water into the flour until you have a very rough heap of buttery lumps of dough. Using the heel of your hand, smear the pastry away from you across the workbench; this will slowly bring the dough together. (It does work; be patient.) Don't knead the dough, you want to just bring it together. Kneading it will develop the gluten too much and create a tough -- instead of tender and flaky -- pastry.

Divide the dough in half and form each half into a flat disc. Dust the discs with a little flour and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 20-30 minutes, or until ready to use.

For the meat pies:

1 T. vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. beef stock
1/4 c. tomato puree
2 1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried oregano
4 sheets store-bought puff pastry
1 batch shortcrust pastry (recipe above)
1 egg, beaten
Ketchup (optional), to serve
Your favorite mashed potatoes (optional), to serve

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and beef and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until the meat has completely browned. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and dried herbs. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often to break up any large lumps of meat. (If the pan gets too dry, feel free to add a little more stock.) Set aside to cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using the circumference of the pot pie tins as a guide, cut 8 rounds of the puff pastry dough. Set aside.
Roll out the shortcrust pastry to about 1/4-inch thick, flouring the work surface and the rolling pin as needed to prevent sticking. Turn over one of the pot pie tins onto the dough and cut about 1 inch beyond the tin's circumference with a knife. Place the shortcrust pastry round into the pot pie tin, then repeat with the remaining 8 pies. (You might have to re-roll the pastry scraps; this is fine but try to be as gentle as possible with the dough to avoid over-working it.)

Add the meat to the pies, filling them to the top.

Top the pies with the reserved puff pastry rounds, pinching round the edge to seal as best as possible. Brush the pies with the beaten egg then, using a paring knife, cut a small slit in the top of each pie to allow it to vent in the oven.

Place the pies on baking sheets and bake for 25 minutes until golden.

Serve with a few scoops of mashed potatoes and a little ketchup on top. Then, watch the footy.

Makes 8 pies.


Previously, on A Stove With A House Around It:

One year ago: oregano baked chicken dinner
Two years ago: zatar crackers with ful medames