Friday, 17 June 2016

Cream Cheese Asparagus Chicken Pies in Home-Baked Puff Pastry with recipe for Shortcrust Pie Bottoms – Delish!

Truly a 5 star pie!

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I added a little extra freshly ground black peppercorns and mustard seeds.

Notes:
You may serve this as casserole over rice with a green salad.
If using bought mustard powder you might need to add more as sometimes they add fillers to boost profits. – Whole seeds always best ground fresh at home.
Cream cheese may be swapped for thick Greek Yogurt.
Both pastries freeze well.:)

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Don’t forget to prick a hole in center of pie using the tip of a steak knife so steam can escape and press gently with fingertips all around edge of pie to seal pie tops to bottoms. I do no brush mine with egg wash as I feel it will interfere with the puffing up and the flakiness of pastry – Just my logic😉

Pie Filling 

Enough to fill 12 – 13 individual meat pies in foil containers – The standard one’s your meat pies come in.
Ingredients:
1.540 kg (8 pieces) Chicken thighs, grilled
5 ml black peppercorns, whole
15 ml mustard seeds, yellow
5 ml salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chicken fat, reserved
15 ml cake flour
6 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
430 g asparagus, brine reserved (tin)
120 ml white wine, dry
600 g cream cheese
146 g cream
120g wine, dry white
Method:
Roast or grill chicken lightly salted with pan placed beneath to catch drippings. Debone chicken discarding bones Reserve meat. Roast chicken with pan placed beneath to catch drippings
Grind peppercorns with mustard seeds
To a food processor with metal blade on add whole garlic cloves and roughly chopped onions. Pulse until finely pureed. Set aside
To a wok or saucepan add the brine liquids from the can of asparagus followed by the wine and bring to a rapid boil until reduced to about 15 ml. Add 15 – 30 ml of the reserved chicken fat – dissolve . Add onions. Saute until onions are tender and translucent and then bring to a brisk boil, quickly throw in flour when fat is bubbling whilst constantly whisking until you have a thickened roux.
Add your reserved mustard and black pepper powder.
Debone chicken. Shred or dice the meat and add it to your filling, folding everything through.
Lower heat and keep warm. Season to taste stirring in cream cheese together with cream and asparagus. Add a few squeezes lemon juice to taste if wished. Turn off heat to allow pie filling to get cold.

Puff Pastry (Makes 12 – 13 pie toppings or lids)

Follow full method here See video here  Makes 1 doz normal standard round pie tops to fit 12 – 13 individual standard pie foil containers. –  You will need to increase this recipe by the volume of the shortcrust pastry flour below if you are going to make your pies with 100 percent puff pastry. Ie.. you will then need 700 g flour.
Ingredients:
250 g cake flour
3.75 ml cream of tartar (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
40 g (63ml) cornflour
5 ml lemon juice of white vinegar
250 g butter
168 g (168 ml) iced water
62.5 g (125 ml) Flour for dusting
Method:
Blend first four dry ingredients in food processor and then add butter followed by liquid until you have a crumbly mixture.
Bake pies 250 C for 20 – 30 minutes dropping temperature to prevent burning as you go along. This way you will get the most “puff” out of your puff pastry.

Savoury Shortcrust Pastry for Meat Pies – Bottom and sides

This is the more economical way to make pies. Puff pastry does not rise or puff up on the bottom and sides of pies. You will also lower your calories which is how I made mine and have included it into my calorie count above. You Do Not prebake your pie crusts – The meat filling MUST go in cold and the oven temperature must be ready when they go in.😉
Bake pies at highest temperature ie; 250 C for about 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and puffed up. Watch carefully and if it looks like it’s going to burn lower temperature as you go along. Baked in this way you will get the most “puff” out of your puff pastry.
Note: If you want to economise or have chicken fats to put to use the formula is 4 parts chicken schmaltz / fat to 6 parts butter or lard = shortcrust for pie bottoms. You may also replace schmaltz with sour cream, cream, thick greek yogurt or cream cheese.
Ingredients: (Makes 12 pie crusts for individual standard pie foil containers)
450 g plain flour
200 g butter, diced or (40 g schmaltz + 60 g butter)
2 pinches salt
Method:
Sift flour together with salt into a large bowl, add butter and rub in with fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add 2-3 tbsp water and mix to a firm dough. Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface. Wrap in cling film and chill while preparing the filling.
Serve and enjoy!
Amount: 1 milliliter (ml) of cornflour volume
Equals: 0.63 grams (g) in cornflour mass