Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, I am spending a lot of time at home. This has presented me with many opportunities to explore, prepare and enjoy many of the foods that we do not usually make as to do so requires much more time in order to get good results.
One such food is spinach and potato pocket pastries. These pockets are a delicacy and can be filled with sweet or savory fillings. They are a good treat if you need a tasty snack for sudden guests. For a snack, the instructions may appear labor intensive, however if made concurrently does not take much time.
To save time you can prepare and make both fillings at the same time by splitting the pastry into 2 thus have a snack and a dessert.
In today’s recipe we use a simple pastry to make the pockets and if done correctly will bee soft, flaky and delicious.
Secrets to a Great Short Crust Pastry
Some of the secrets of having superb results when making shortcrust pastry are
- ensure the butter is firm before mixing the dough
- use a cold spatula and bowl when mixing
- do not over knead the dough
- always chill the pastry in the fridge to avoid the butter from softening
- chill the filling as well before spooning them on the pastry
- Don’t add too much flour to the work surface when rolling it out to avoid drying the pastry out
- Cooking pastry at the right temperature is vital; If too cool the butter will melt before the pastry becomes firm and this will cause it to collapse.If it’s too hot the pastry may burn before the filling is cooked.
Shortcrust pastry ingredients
- 3 1/2 cups (875 ml) Wholewheat flour
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
- 1 3/4 cups (250 ml) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into pieces
- 125-1/2 to 2/3 cup (150 ml) ice water
- 1 tablespoon (15g) mixed spices
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) sugar
Meat filling ingredients
- 1 lb (500g) lean ground beef
- 1/2 tablespoon (8 gm) Salt
- 1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon (15 gm) curry powder
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) bouillon powder
- 1/2 tablespoon (8ml) steak seasoning
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) garlic powder
- 4 large potatoes ( diced)
- 1 cup (250 ml) peas and carrots
- 1 cup water
- 1 beaten egg
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
- Add all the dry ingredients for the pastry in a mixing bowl and mix.
- Drop in the chopped pieces of the butter.
- Using and metal spatula, add in a little of the water at a time and slowly mix in until all the water is added, being careful not to break the butter.
- Using your hand, press the pastry together.
- Turn pastry onto a floured board, roll pastry into a rectangle that is about 2 inches thick, then fold one end to 1/3 of the pastry and the other end to over the 1/3 already folded.
- Repeat the above process 2 times
- As the pastry chills start to prepare the filling.
- Put the meat in a pan on a medium heat, stir continually as it cooks making sure no lumps form.
- Cook until all the liquid is dissolved, then brown the meat.
- Add in the onions stir, until soft.
- Stir in the steak seasoning, garlic powder, curry powder, salt then add the bouillon cube powder.
- Add in the potatoes, then the water,stir and cover. Allow to cook till potatoes are tender.
- Then add in the peas and carrots.
- Spread out on a plate or baking sheet to cool
- Bring out the pastry divide it half, roll it to a square making that is about 10 inches on both sides.
- Cut across twice on both sides to get nine equal squares.
- Put one scoop( heaped tablespoon) on each square, rub some water on all the edges and then fold to make a trangle. Pinch the edges with a fork.
- Place the squares on a lined baking dish and then poke a samll hole on each of the tops. Brush with the egg wash (beaten egg)
- Bake at 325℉ for 30 minutes.
- Cool, serve and enjoy.