I was shopping in my beloved Sainsbury’s today and got talking to an elderly man in the queue. His trolley was full of cakes, various pastries, walnut whips and a large pack of adult nappies – way more interesting than my own basket. He was quick to explain that the adult nappies were for his 80-year- old boyfriend, but unfortunately one pack only lasts him three days – TMI. When I suggested he go and get another pack, he explained he couldn’t carry the chocolate, cakes and the two packs of nappies on the bus, so I offered to give him and his nappies a lift.
In the car, I learned that not only was this eccentric old man a delight to talk to, but his name was Peter and he used to be a producer at the BBC. He spent the journey recounting all his worldly adventures, dropping casually into conversation that his tutor was none other than David Attenborough.
Sadly, when I pulled up outside his house, I had to say my goodbyes – he had afternoon tea to prepare – so I helped him with his bags and shook his lovely warm hand, only for him to present me with a box of walnut whips that I will treasure forever.
Oh, and so when I got home, I made cheese and onion puff pasties, but they were a total disaster, so I decided to sack off making another batch and retreat to my sofa to eat marmalade on toast for the rest of the afternoon. So, these are my second attempt and the reason you didn’t receive a blog yesterday, apologies.
Cheese and onion puff pasties
Makes 5 pasties / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins / V
You’ll need: A rolling pin and a tea cup saucer (roughly 14 cm)
1 medium large baking potato (250g), skin on and chopped into cubes
250ml cold water
Half a vegetable stock pot or cube, I use Knorr
1 large onion (200g), peeled and finely chopped
150g mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
Salt and black pepper
375g chilled ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbs flour (for dusting)
1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ 428°F/gas mark 7. In a casserole pot or large saucepan, add the chopped potatoes, stock pot and 250ml of cold water. Put on a high heat and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped onions and give it a good stir. Turn the heat down slightly and continue to cook for a further 8 minutes, stirring frequently (now is a good time to grate the cheese). Take off the heat, season well with salt and pepper and put the filling to one side to cool.
3. Roll out the ready rolled puff pastry and using a tea cup saucer as a stencil, cut out as many circles as you can before gathering up the trimmings and re-rolling to make more. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and dust with a little flour. Place the pastry circles on them and using the back of a fork make little imprints along the edges of each circle.
4. Stir the grated cheese into the cooled potato and onion mixture and add another crack of black pepper to taste. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture down the middle of each circle of pastry. Brush the imprinted edge with a little beaten egg, before folding over to create a half moon pillow. Seal by applying downward pressure with your finger tips and imprinting with the back of a fork. Cut 3 small slits in the top of each pasty with a sharp knife to allow the hot air to escape while baking.
5. Once all your pasties are filled, brush them with beaten egg, space out evenly on the baking trays and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool completely and enjoy cold as a snack. The pasties will last up to 3 days refrigerated in an air tight container.
If you’ve had a go at making my pasties or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale email@example.com