Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Savory Stuffed Pastry-- for Borshch or for a Party

We never buy more flour than we do these days. This week, I have bought the fourth 4-pound bag of flour and I am sure I will need at least one more before the year ends, as my holiday baking is far from over.

I have already baked a lot of cookies. I and will make my Christmas cakes by the end of this week. And, yesterday, I baked four sheets of small pastry that I will serve with clear borshch, for which the recipe I have just posted. I baked them until they turned slightly gold, let them cool down, and froze them for later. I can reheat them in the oven, whenever I need them, and serve them warm.

I made two different types. I used my own old recipe and another one from my friend. In both recipes, the stuffing is made with cabbage and porcini. This time, for change, I stuffed half of them with fried white cap mushrooms and the other half with the paste I made from white beans. The latter have a very neutral taste and can be served to accompany any clear broth soup like, of course borshch, but also chicken broth, beef broth, or tomato broth. They are also excellent alone, served warm, as party snacks.

Savory Stuffed Pastry

Ingredients for the pastry:
2 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour,
2 sticks of room temperature butter,
2 tbsp vegetable shortening or extra two tbsp butter,
3 egg yolks,(save whites for the glazing),
4 tbsp sour cream,
1 sachet (1/4 oz) of fast rising dry yeasts or 50 g fresh yeasts,
1/2 tsp salt,
1 tbsp coarse salt or caraways seeds for finishing.

1. In a medium bowl mix egg yolks, yeasts, and sour cream.
2. Sift flour into a large bowl, add 1/2 tsp of salt, butter, and shortening. Working with hands rub in the butter into the flour until it forms small crumbles. Add the yolk mixture and make a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic foil and let it chill in a refrigerator for an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 370F. Grease with butter a large cookie sheet.
4. Dust your working surface with flour. Unwrap dough and roll it out into one large disk. Cut it out into 2x2 inch squares. Put a tsp of filling on each of them. Fold them into triangles. Push two edges with a fork to secure the filling. Brush tops of the pastry with whites and sprinkle with caraway seeds or coarse salt. Transfer to a cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until gold. If you intend to freeze them, bake them only until they are just slightly gold.

Bean Filling

1 can of white beans of any kind,
1 small onion chopped,
2 tbsp olive oil,
1/4 tsp ground red paprika,
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds,
1/4 tsp ground coriander,
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste,

1. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion and fry until transparent.
2. Open a can of beans and rinse them on a colander.
3. Add spices and onion. Using a hand blender puree the beans into a smooth paste.
4. Divide among the pastry cut into squares.

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