Puff pastry canapés

from our ‘Meet The Expert’ Rosemary Shrager

Makes 48 of each filling

Ingredients

  • Flour for dusting
  • 750g Puff Pastry (see below)
  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • For the tapenade filling:
  • 100g full-fat cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons tapenade
  • 4 slices of Parma ham

For the cheese and anchovy filling:

  • 50g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 150g anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped

For the hazelnut filling:

  • 125g hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rum

Instructions

On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry into a large rectangle about 40 × 30cm and 2.5mm thick. Place on a floured baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile make the fillings. Put the cream cheese and tapenade into a bowl and mix well. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge until needed. Combine the ingredients for the other 2 fillings in separate bowls, then cover and leave in the fridge until needed.

Cut the chilled pastry into 3 equal pieces, each one measuring 40 × 10cm. Spread half the cream cheese mixture on one strip of pastry, lay the Parma ham on top and cover with remaining cream cheese filling. Roll up tightly from the narrow end, wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Spread the other fillings on the remaining strips of pastry and roll up as before. Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Cut the chilled pastry rolls into slices 6mm thick and place them on buttered baking sheets, spacing the canapés 1cm apart. Bake in an oven preheated to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes, until golden.

For the puff pastry:

  • 500g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 680g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 225ml water
  • 15g sea salt

First make a butterball for the pastry. Put half the plain flour into a bowl with 600g of the butter.

Mix together without beating until you can form a ball from the mixture. Cover with cling film and then chill for 2 hours.

Put the remaining plain flour and strong flour into a bowl, make a well and add the water, remaining butter and salt.

Mix well until it forms a smooth dough. It should have the same consistency as the chilled butterball, so do not put too much pressure on it.

Cover with cling film and chill for 2 hours.

When ready to use, place the dough on a floured work surface.

Press down a little with the palm of one hand, resting the other on top and push (not stretch) the dough until it forms a circle about 4cm thick.

Start rolling the dough into the shape of a four-leaf clover, leaving it slightly domed in the middle.

The leaves tend to come back on themselves, so roll again until they stay put.

Place the butterball in the middle of the dough and fold the first leaf over it without stretching, and brushing off any excess flour.

Bring the next leaf up and over, brushing off the flour again, and repeat with the other 2 leaves. Make sure the corners are well sealed.

Push down as before with the palm of your hand, again without stretching, to make a circle about 4cm thick.

Roll the pastry into a strip about 38cm long and 3mm thick. Fold it into 3, then turn the dough through 90 degrees to the open end.

Now roll again to the same size, keeping the pastry as even as possible. Fold again into 3, then turn again through 90 degrees to the open end.

Cover with cling film and chill for 25 minutes to allow the gluten to rest.

Roll out the chilled dough as before, folding it into 3 and turning it through 90 degrees to the open end.

Repeat once again, then cover and chill for another 25 minutes.

Roll and repeat the final 2 turns. This now gives it 6 turns. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 4 hours.

Trim off the sides, wrap the offcuts in cling film and freeze. These bits are handy for making Palmiers or using as pie toppings.

Recipe and image courtesy of Rosemary Shrager from Rosemary Shrager’s Bake’s, Cakes & Puddings
With thanks to Rosemary Shrager and the Rosemary Shrager Cookery School
The Corn Exchange, The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TE
Phone: 01892 528700
rosemaryshrager.com