Turkish Pasties with Yoghurt Pastry

These are not in fact a traditional dish, though Turkey has many good little pies to offer. The delicious yoghurt pastry came from some Turkish friends of mine in Istanbul and the filling, which is full of flavour, contains two of my favourite vegetables — potato and leek. Being small, the pies are ideal to take on picnics, still warm if possible. They can be made ahead and reheated.

Ingredients

  • 275 g/10 oz leeks
  • 100 g/4 oz new potatoes
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 g/½ oz butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • salt

For the pastry

  • 100 g/4 oz butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small egg
  • 150 g/5 oz carton plain yoghurt
  • 275 g/10 oz plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten

Method

Make the filling first. Wash the leeks and slice across in thin rounds as far up the stalk as possible. Chop the slices in half. Scrub the potatoes and cut into small cubes. Peel the garlic and chop finely. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes, until just tender. Stir in the coriander, garlic and leeks. Stir for 2-3 minutes, until the leeks are softened. Season well with cayenne pepper and salt and remove from the heat.

To make the pastry, melt the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat and leave on one side. Put the olive oil and egg into a mixing bowl and whisk lightly. Stir in the yoghurt. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir the melted butter into the yoghurt and egg mixture.

Sift the flour with the bicarbonate of soda and salt and gradually stir it into the yoghurt and butter mixture. Lightly knead the rather soft dough for a few minutes and then roll it out to 5mm/¼in thick. Cut out circles of pastry with a 7.5cm/3in plain pastry cutter or the rim of a wide glass. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the filling on to one side of each circle, then fold to form semi-circles and press the edges to seal. Re-roll the pastry as necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Lightly grease a large baking sheet, lay the pasties on it and brush with the beaten egg yolk. Cook just above the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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