Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Here are some not so pretty pies that I made. Hunks. But they taste so good that I had to post. (The one in the picture above is one of the better ones).
An odd thing about this pie is that it has a front and a rear end. It's twice the size of a curry puff, is not quite a semi circle, is not a round, is not a square nor is it a rectangle. It has an unname-able odd shape. And they're not exactly dainty either.
I used to see these gorgeous hunks whenever the Chinese roti man in a van came honking around in the evenings in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. They were handsomer than mine. The pies.
These are pies or turnovers made with a particular Chinese pastry recipe that I had scribbled down in haste from a tv show while pacifying my year old daughter at the time. A precious layered crust as delicate and as flaky and soft as a thousand year old stack of parchments newly dug from an archeological site Somewhere.
I went through 2 trials to get the crust and shape to look somewhat presentable. It is made up of 2 types of dough. One enclosed in the other and then rolled out. Some lightness of hand is required here to avoid the inside dough from leaking out.
Often these pastries are filled with kaya, a rich delicious Malaysian coconut jam or a sweet bean paste or a savoury mushroom filling. I chose the latter.
The filling was delicious, if I have to say so myself. I made it loosely based on the original mushroom filling recipe. I had used button mushrooms the first time and the second time around I used a combo of shitake and enoki mushrooms.
It was simply delicious. My children and even my husband who isn't inclined to play food were nodding with pleasure and I heard some mmmm-hmmmms from crammed mouths of crust.
There aren't a million pictures in this post because I couldn't get any decent pictures, my motivation dying little deaths at each click.
I have to tell you that I took some shots of the filling as in a dramatic quaking of the pie with the filling spilling out theatrically onto the plate. Well that looked even worse so I'm not posting the pic lest I disgrace myself.
I know these photos are not going to make it pass Foodgawker or Tastespotting with whom I have a love hate realationship going.
But let me insist that it was GOOD!
The recipe ~
240 gm bread flour
120 gm shortening
45 gm castor sugar
4 T cold water
1 tsp lime juice or lemon juice (I used apple cider vinegar because that was what I had)
90 gm plain flour
70 gm shortening
Sift the flours seperately in seperate bowls. For dough A put in teh sugar, a little less if you prefer, mix it then add the shortening and using a pastry cutter or 2 knifes cut into the fat and flour until the mixture becomes a coarse meal. Then using your fingers rub until fine like breadcrumbs. Pour in teh liquids and bring the dough together gently until it becomes a smooth mound. Leave to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
For dough B, add the fat into the flour and using a metal or wooden spoon stir to mix until it becomes a paste and, lightly, using your fingers bring the dough together. This dough is more paste like than dough like.
After resting, divide both doughs inot 10 equal pieces.
Roll out one piece of dough A into a small thick circle about 21/2 inches in diameter and place a ball of dough B in the centre. Bring up the edges of dough A and scrunch it up at the top, squeeze to seal and roll gently into a smooth ball. Roll out into a longish oval about 5 inches long and 21/2 inches across. Be careful not to let the inside dough leak out. A little tricky.
Place a small mound of filling on one half of the oval leaving 1 cm clean around the edges. Wipe some egg white around the half the edges and turn over the other half of the dough , seal and crimp with your fingers or use a fork. Place on a lined baking tray. Do the same for the rest of the dough and filling.
Brush the tops of the pies with egg yolk. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 - 30 minutes.
250 gm of any combination of mushrooms, brushed clean and stalks removed if necessary and sliced,
120 gm of thinly shredded beef or other meat
1/2 large white onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
some chives, chopped 1 inch lengths
Marinate the beef with the soy sauce, sugar and cornflour. Keep aside.
Slice onion and garlic. Heat pan and add 1 -2 T cooking oil. Saute onion and garlic till soft. Add mushrooms and saute about 3-4 minutes. Dont let the mushrooms soften too much.
Add the marinated beef, salt, black pepper and stir until the beef is cooked, probably about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Put in balsamic vinegar and adjust seasoning if necessary. If there is some thin juice in the mixture mix 1 tsp of cornflour with a little water and add to mix and heat until the sauce thickens. Allow to completely cool before use.