This. Was. Delicious. And since it’s only about 340 calories a serving, it’s definitely on my make again list. It also freezes well too, so it’s a perfect candidate for weekend make-ahead cooking.
If you’re making this for company, ramekin dishes would look great. For practical reasons (and the fact that I couldn’t find white ramekins with seal-able lids), I used small glass Pyrex dishes. Hey, my mother-in-law already likes me, if she comes over for supper, she won’t need the extra presentation. 😉
I love pastry! I love the buttery taste, the flaky texture, and the rich smell of it while it’s cooking in the oven. Unfortunately, I hate all the calories (and so do my hips).
I’ve tried a few “lower calorie” versions found on the internet, but I don’t like any of them. Vegetable fillers sound like a good idea, but you lose the taste & texture of real pastry, and low calorie butter substitutes are evil and should be avoided like the chemical loaded fake food plague they are.
So what’s a pastry lover on a diet to do? I’ve found only one solution – eat the pastry, just less of it. Instead of making an entire pie with both top and bottom crust, make single serving mini pies in ramekins, and put pastry cut-outs on the top only. This looks beautiful, avoids trying to serve a piece of pie without a bottom, looks like you did a lot of work (you actually did less – shhhh), and puts the small bit of pastry that you do eat right under your nose where you can see and smell it.
This is the recipe I used for mini beef & mushroom pies (to be posted on Thursday). As it’s a savoury pie, I didn’t add sugar but if you’re using it for sweet pies, add a tsp or two of sugar in step 1.
Tips & Tricks:
Extra pastry freezes well. To thaw, bring it out of the freezer the night before – don’t use the microwave.
Use a fine grater (cheese shredder) to cut the butter into the flour.
Very cold butter works best. If you have the time, pre-measure and freeze it.
Butter gives you a nice buttery flavour, but shortening or lard give the best flaky texture. Margarine never works well. A mix of half butter / half shortening gives both flavour & texture, but you can decide what you want to use.