6 main course baskets

Preparation info

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Lucy's Food: Minimum Effort, Maximum Impact!

Lucy's Food

By Lucy Cufflin

Published 2013

  • About

Puff pastry is made by rolling and folding pastry dough so lots of layers are built up. As the pastry cooks, the air between the layers expands and creates the gaps so the pastry puffs up. It then sets in place. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Puff pastry will not rise and set if the oven is not hot enough.

Ingredients

  • 500 g unrolled fresh puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

Method

  1. Using plain flour, dust the work surface. Dust the rolling pin and top surface of the pastry with more flour and roll out to 30 x 30 cm square.
  2. Trim all the edges using a sharp knife.
  3. This is important as the puff pastry is layered and it will be prevented from rising if the edge layers are squashed together, which is what you have done by rolling it. Trimming the edges releases those layers and you will get a perfect rise.
  4. Cut the pastry into 6 rectangles 15 x 10cm and place on to a baking sheet.
  5. Score a line 2 cm inside the outer edge of each rectangle with a sharp knife making sure you do not cut all the way through to the baking sheet.
  6. Smear rectangles all over with the beaten egg using a pastry brush or wad of kitchen paper. The salt added to the egg will help break down the egg white and make it easier to brush over the pastry.
  7. Bake uncovered for 30–40 minutes. Unless your oven cooks very evenly you may need to turn the tray round but do not open the door until you have cooked the pastry for at least 25 minutes as it will fall and not rise again.
  8. Once cooked to a good, dark golden colour remove from the oven. Use the sharp knife to cut the scored line and remove the inner rectangle of pastry. Pull out the inner soft pastry dough with your fingers creating empty baskets ready to fill. Store the lids to put back on the pastry baskets once filled.

    You can make these baskets larger or smaller. They can be made up to 4 days ahead and stored in a plastic box or tin. You can freeze them, but be careful as they are very delicate and useless once squashed. If made ahead, warm the baskets through in the same oven for 5 minutes before filling with your chosen stew.