Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Toastie pies

I'm trying to use up stuff from the freezer. This aliquot of beef and lentil stew has been in there too long, and needed eating.

Unfortunately, I just did not feel like eating it with veges in the usual dinner-like way, so I had to think of something else to do with it.

Introducing my triple toastie pie maker:

These are more commonly electric these days, but I like my old soot-stained one. It made many a toastie pie over the living room fire when my son was small and we would go "camping" at home.

Usually you use slices of bread as the "pastry" in a toastie pie, but I've been wondering for a while what my low-fat pastry (a cross between pastry and scone dough) would do in one. Now was obviously the time to find out. If successful, the toastie pies would be great to take to work for lunches.

I made some pastry, deciding to be a bit healthy and using a mix of wholemeal and stoneground unbleached white flour. I rolled it out, cut into appropriately-sized and -shaped bits, lined the lightly greased cold toastie pie maker, and divided the defrosted stew between the "holes":

Another layer of pastry went on top of the stew and I shut the lid …

… trimmed the excess pastry, and positioned the toasties over the wok burner on my stove:

I did a fair bit of adjusting and lid-lifting to check doneness, but after 5 mins or so on each side, I had these:

All nicely browned and sealed around the edges. Not bad, I thought.

Then I became more adventurous with the rest of the pastry and tried a classic toastie pie filling; egg and cheese. The grated cheese goes in first, then a raw egg and salt and pepper:

I ate one of these ones - I wanted to see how well the pastry came out, and how well the egg was cooked:

The pastry was fine, but the egg was just a little softer than I'd like so I cooked the other one for a minute or so longer.

I think these may well become a bento staple.

Low-fat wholemeal toastie-pies

1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup white flour
50 g butter
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
water to mix

Mix dry ingredients.
Grate cold butter into them and rub in slightly with your fingers
Mix to a firm dough with cold water

Toastie pies
Roll out pastry and cut into appropriate size and shape for your toastie-pie maker (some are round).
Lightly grease the pie maker while the pastry rests briefly.
Line one side of the pie depressions with pastry.
Fill the pastry with anything you like. Leftover stew, cheese, ham, raw or cooked egg, tomato, tinned creamed corn, tinned spaghetti is a favourite with kids, bits of cooked sausage. Anything at all. Try things like cream cheese and jam, or chicken, cranberry sauce and brie.
Cover with the other bits of pastry and press the cover closed.
Cook over a burner on your stove, or an open fire, until done, turning every now and then so both sides cook.
You can, of course, use an electric toastie maker - just follow the makers instructions as to cooking times.

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