Spinach & Truffle Pies

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    16

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

This recipe is from my brother-in-law, Marco, who has a lovely restaurant, the Taverna di San Giuseppe, in Siena. I always have these when I go there. You should be able to find a mushroom ‘crema’ perfumed with truffle in an Italian delicatessen. The one I use is a purée of porcini and other wild mushrooms.

Ingredients

  • 225 g (8 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 225 g (8 oz) chilled butter, diced
  • 4–5 tablespoons iced water
  • 375 g (13 oz) english spinach leaves
  • 100 g ( oz) mozzarella (drained weight)
  • 1 tablespoon ‘crema di funghi prataioli al profumo di tartufo’ (cream of mushrooms with truffle)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 1 egg, beaten, for brushing

Method

To make the pastry, sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Add the butter and stir through to coat it with flour. Add enough of the iced water to make the dough come together. Gather into a ball and transfer to a floured work surface. Flour your hands and form the dough into a block. Roll this out to make a rectangle about 1 cm (½ inch) thick with the short side closest to you. Fold up the bottom third of the rectangle and fold down the top third. Seal the edges lightly with a rolling pin. Turn the dough through 90 degrees and roll it out again into a rectangle that is about 5 mm (¼ inch) thick. Fold as before, turn the dough and roll out again. Do this once more, then put the dough in a plastic bag and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, or until it is soft, then drain well and squeeze out the excess water. Pass half the spinach through a mincer with the mozzarella so that it is very finely chopped. Chop up the remaining spinach by hand to keep some texture in the filling (or chop it all by hand if you don’t have a mincer). Mix in the mushroom ‘crema’, olive oil and truffle oil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll out the pastry to make a square just larger than 40 cm (16 inches). Trim away the edges to make a neat square. Now cut lengthways and breadthways to make 16 squares of 10 cm (4 inches) each.

Dollop a tablespoon of the spinach mixture in the centre of each square, then fold over to form a triangle, pressing the edges down to seal. Arrange the pies on the baking tray and brush the tops with beaten egg. Bake for 10–15 minutes or until they are golden and the undersides are also firm and golden. Leave them to cool a little, just so you don’t burn your mouth.