Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinach & Feta Pasties

When I was twenty-two I spent two months in Western Australia. I stayed with wonderful families in the towns of Harvey and Dunsborough and went up and down the coast from Perth to Margaret River. Tagging along in the early mornings as the boys went surfing, we would stop to get meat pies and pasties. My favorite was filled with spinach and feta. I have never been able to totally recreate the taste...but I am pretty sure youth and adventure had something to do with the sheer joy I felt when it was handed across the counter to me. Nevertheless this is a pretty close second.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
ice water to add as needed when forming the dough

spinach & feta as filling (or really whatever you want to fill these with)

To make, first put your flour, salt, and butter in a food processor or blender. I use the Vitamix for everything. Pulse to combine. Add a bit of the ice water as needed until the dough is held together well and begins to form a ball.

Then remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface form into a flat circle and wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate for about an hour (or as long as overnight).

Next roll out the dough. (Dusting the rolling pin with flour helps.) You may need to use a bit more water if it does not stick together well or a bit more flour if it is too sticky.

Since we are close to Valentine's Day, I used a heart-shaped mini pie mold from William Sonoma, but traditionally they are made in a D-like half moon shape. To make that way form a circle, spoon on filling and fold over and crimp edges. If using a cookie cutter, which my kids love, cut two shapes in the dough, fill bottom with spinach and lots of crumpled feta and place top on to close. Using a fork or crimping the edges to seal is key.

Leftover dough can be used for dessert by filling with jelly. 

With the extras, I also always make what my grandma called Thumbprint Cookies. All you do is roll the dough into a ball, press it down with your thumb and fill the indention with jelly. Lastly, Pop everything in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. If you want to do an egg wash, brush the top with an egg white after about 15 minutes and put back in oven.

Pick it up and Enjoy!

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