TOMATO AND MASCARPONE TARTS
2x250g sheets of butter puff pastry, defrosted
250g mascarpone cheese
about 40 baby vine tomatoes
salt and pepper
olive oil for drizzling
beaten egg for glazing
Cut each sheet into four squares. Score a border of about 1cm on the inside of each square. Prick the inside of the square with a fork.
Add a generous spoonful of mascarpone cheese to the inside of each square. Top each square with about 4-5 tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Bake at 200°C for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and serve sprinkled with shredded basil.
CHICKEN SAUSAGE ROLL
2x400g packets of chicken sausages or 800g chicken mince
250ml fresh breadcrumbs
½ bunch of spring onions, chopped
125g chopped mushrooms
125ml dried cranberries
60ml chopped parsley
1 egg, beaten
400g roll of frozen puff pastry, defrosted
Remove the meat from the sausage casings.
Place in a bowl and mix with the breadcrumbs, spring onions, mushrooms, cranberries, parsley seasoning and the egg. Mix well.
Unroll the pastry onto a baking tray that has been lined with non-stick baking paper. Place the chicken mixture down the centre of the pastry.
Using a sharp knife cut the pastry on either side of the filling into 2cm thick strips.
Starting at the one end, fold the pastry strips over the sausage mixture, alternating sides. Make sure the filling is covered.
Brush with beaten egg.
Bake at 200°C for 30-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove and cool slightly before slicing to serve.
CHICKEN POT PIES
30ml olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
½ small red pepper, diced
½ yellow pepper. diced
500ml cooked chopped chicken
400g roll of puff pastry, defrosted
Heat the oil and butter in a pot and cook onion, carrot, celery and peppers until soft.
Add flour and cook for a minute. Add the milk, stirring constantly until the mixture is boiling and thick.
Season to taste.
Remove from the heat and stir in the chicken. Set aside to cool.
Spoon the mixture into individual ovenproof containers.
Unroll the pastry and cut out discs to fit the top of the containers.
Brush the top of the pies with beaten egg.
Cut a few slits in the pastry and decorate with pastry leaves if desired.
Bake at 200°C for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Remove and serve warm.
FLAKY CUSTARD TARTS
3 egg yolks
125ml castor sugar
5ml vanilla extract
2x250g sheets of butter puff pastry
Beat the egg yolks, castor sugar and cornflour until smooth. Heat the cream and milk in a pot to just under boiling. Add to the egg mixture and mix well.
Return the mixture to the pot and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove and cool completely.
Stack the two sheets of pastry on top of each other. Roll up the stacked pastry like a Swiss roll to form a log. Chill the pastry in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Slice the log into 1.5cm thick slices. Flatten each slice into a disc with your fingers then on a lightly floured surface roll out the discs so that they fit into a muffin pan.
Press the discs into the muffin pan and chill in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Divide the cooled custard between the muffin pan and bake at 180°C for 20-30 minutes until pastry is golden brown and the custard is puffed up and golden.
Remove and cool in the pan for 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack. - The Star