Artichoke and shallot picnic pie

Artichoke and shallot picnic pie

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Serves
6
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

The filling of this tasty picnic pie can also be used to make a delicious meat-free version of sausage rolls (use half the pastry quantity and omit the fennel seeds from the top).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 quantity Pâte a pâte, chilled as separate discs
extra flour, to dust
1 egg

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
5 banana shallots
3 x 400g tins artichoke hearts, (750g drained weight)
1 garlic clove
120g parmesan cheese
small handful tarragon
40g butter
150ml double cream
120g breadcrumbs
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the filling, halve, peel and finely slice the shallots. Rinse and drain the artichokes, then roughly chop. Peel and crush the garlic, grate the Parmesan and chop the tarragon.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots. Cover with a damp cartouche and a lid and sweat over a low heat until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the chopped artichokes and cook for 5–10 minutes to soften slightly. Pour in the cream and increase the heat to reduce the sauce to a consistency that will coat the back of a wooden spoon, stirring often to prevent it from catching.
  3. Add the Parmesan, breadcrumbs and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper (bearing in mind that the Parmesan is salty). Leave the mixture to cool (it can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated). When cooled the mixture should be fairly firm.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll one chilled pastry disc into a rectangle about 12 x 30cm, and the second slightly larger in length and width. Chill on baking parchment on separate baking sheets in the fridge for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Using a fork, prick the smaller pastry rectangle all over and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.
  6. Spread the cooled filling over the cooled pastry base, leaving a clear 2cm border around the edges. Lightly beat the egg using a fork and pass through a sieve into a small bowl, then brush the pastry border with the egg.
  7. Place the larger pastry rectangle on top of the filling and press all round the border to seal the edges; try to avoid creating air pockets. Trim away any excess pastry and lightly crimp the border using the back of a fork, to further seal.
  8. Use any pastry trimmings to decorate the pie and brush all over with the beaten egg. Chill until firm, 20–30 minutes.
  9. Bake in the oven for 35–45 minutes or until the pastry is crisp and evenly golden. Serve hot or cold, as a starter or light lunch, in slices, with salad leaves in a mustardy dressing.
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