Parmesan Pastry Piggies and Mince Pies

Rough Puff Parmesan Piggies

Before you ask, I don’t know who is going to eat all these…

I made double quantities of Dan Lepard’s light rough puff ‘spelt’ pastry ( I used kamut instead of spelt) from Short & Sweet and an excess of short crust pastry for my lemon meringue pie as well over the Easter weekend.

I used the first lot of the rough puff to make a quick lunch dish for my guests when they arrived, rolling it out and cutting it into rectangles and topping it with cheese, chorizo and butternut squash as I have done previously. This time I gave the pastry an extra fold, the one called a book fold and I fancy the layers were better for it, or else it is just practice which gives me hope that one day I will be brave enough to try making croissants.

Why did I make two lots? I ask myself questions like these and you might like to share in my waffly thought processes: I made two lots thinking vaguely that it would come in handy and while you are doing one lot of endless folding and chilling you might as well do two, at least that is what they always say in books don’t they?  But then I forgot all about the second lot till a night or two ago and was stricken with pastry guilt.

After some discussion about how long it could keep with Carla and Jean on Twitter and thinking that five days was pushing my luck as it was looking just a touch grey, despite being wrapped tightly in cling film, I hastily rolled it out last night and made these little parmesan piggies and some other bits and pieces from the puff. I was really pleased with the way the piggies kept their shape and got nice fat bellies though, so I might do that again one day.  Gingerbread puff pastry men, Christmas puff with sugar and spice on top, just random thoughts….

I also made a dozen decidedly unseasonal mince pies, only nine months to Christmas though –  as we still have jars of mincemeat left in the garage from two Christmases past,  this jar was a cherry and dried fruit mixture, recipe from Pam Corbin’s Preserves book, the fruits are soaked in loads of brandy and seem to keep forever.

And now I must get on and put up the tomato plants which are climbing out of their pots. They are looking pretty good so far !

If you want a different recipe for rough puff from Dan Lepard there is one here on The Guardian’s website which describes the technique as well.

What have you done with your Easter leftovers this week?

29 thoughts on “Parmesan Pastry Piggies and Mince Pies

  1. hotlyspiced

    How yummy to have Christmas mince pies at Easter! And homemade ones too! I love your little piggies – so cute! And your tomato plants look so young and healthy. I’m sure once they have been staked they will grow amazingly well xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks Charlie! My tomatoes are all bush varieties, though I think one or two might be sprawlers and need staking at some point. They are supposed to be very early ones so I am getting quite excited. :)

  2. Misky

    I love those piggies. So sweet. So cute. So edible.

    Leftover Easter ham: last night fried potatoes with onion and thyme with a fried egg and slices of ham. I’ll make some deviled ham for sandwiches tomorrow. We also had a pot of lentil and ham soup.

    Leftover roast chicken: Chicken pot pie with Dan’s pastry top that I froze last month is on the menu tonight. Plan to toss some steaasparagusagas in with the chicken, and maybe a few cubes of leftover potatoes.

    But I sure do love those piggies …. :D

    1. Joanna Post author

      I love lentil and ham soup! we had no meatie leftovers, our loin of pork was calibrated to be the right amount, the same I cannot say of the pastry ;)

  3. Evidence Matters (@EvidenceMatters)

    Both your parmesan pigs and tomato plants look super.

    I like your thinking about pastry as I tend to think it’s always useful – either for making quick cheese twists for a snack while thinking what else to prepare or as a way of convincing myself that casserole leftovers can be padded with vegetables and transformed into a pie by the simple expedient of pastry.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thanks EM, my pastry confidence is growing now thanks to the prompts to try from the ShortandTweet challenge :)

  4. Just A Smidgen

    You are such an incredible pastry chef.. I love your little piggies! And I think the mince tarts actually suit Easter more.. it’s funny, but they really do look more Easterish to me..:)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Thank you! The piggies were a surprise, puff pastry suited them :) I guess if you have Easter somewhere cool or in the southern hemisphere turning to autumn mincemeat would be a good thing to make right now. I can eat mince pies any time of the year.

  5. Jeannette

    I love reading your posts, Joanna, so entertaining! Your pastry looks good too….

  6. Bridget

    Wow! Your Tomatoes look great…they’re about twice the size of mine! Lovin the piggies. I’ve tried making shortcrust with spelt but it was a disaster…hard and tough as old boots.

  7. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Your piggies are just too cute with their little fat bellies! I’ve never seen a pig shaped cookie cutter before! I love mince pies but have never made them – I will go look at Pam’s recipe right now! And you were brave – I always ditch the pastry when it goes a little grey – but it’s good to know it was still ok. I try and freeze all my surplus pastry, but sometimes I forget.. ;-)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I adore Pam’s mincemeat recipes, we have made the ones with fresh fruits and no added fat which are delicious too. Those are my favourites, though Brian prefers the cherry. I think the grey tinge is oxidization of the surface of the dough. We had no ill effects, but it’s a judgement call I wouldn’t want to make for someone else ;)

  8. teawithhazel

    your little piggies would not have made it to market in my house! and i love the look of the mince’s a bit cold this morning so the thought of a mince pie with my cup of tea is tempting me terribly..

    i love to have left over pastry and since the children were little i’ve used the scrappy leftover bits to make little jam tarts..they would sometimes help and then choose the their preferred jam..

    1. Joanna Post author

      i think Dan is doing jam tarts in this Saturday’s Guardian too. I am going to have to hold off on the pastry for a while, or I will be going to market too !

  9. Jan

    Such delightful little piggies. Children would absolutley love those, I wondered whether it would be possible to roll them a little more thinly and sandwich two flattened piggies with a teaspoon of sausage mince in it’s tummy – or would that be too ghoulish!!

    1. Joanna Post author

      i rolled them out very thin to start with but I love the idea of sausage piggies – brilliant :D

  10. Jan

    Joanna, I’ve just read your lemon meringue pie post – fantastic pie by the way – but, I am totally like that i.e. paralysed by meal planning. I love food and everything to do with it, everything; love the idea of long, convivial lunches with wonderful, fresh and simple food; love the idea of inviting people and providing happiness-centred food – but come the occasion ……I’m the ‘thing’ in the corner, under the duvet! Maybe we should form a self help group – with some name like ‘hyperventilators under the down-duvets anonymous – HUDDAS for short.

  11. MC

    I just love these little piggies! And Jan’s idea of putting sausage in them sounds marvelous… Maybe some could be flat and some plump!
    Another possibility would have been to freeze the second batch: happiness is having homemade puff pastry in the freezer! (At least that’s what I imagine, I have never made croissant dough yet…)

  12. thelittleloaf

    Your little pastry piggies are so cute! I think if you’re making something complicated like puff pastry it’s always worth making large quantities, even if you end up with too many leftovers (you could send some my way if you’re struggling..?!) :-)

  13. chocveg

    surely this pastry leads on to Pigs in duvets… this pastry would do fine! (you’d have to cut it into squares instead of pigs of course!)

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s all about the piggie cutter for me, I am going to try with some other cookie cutters one day and see if they cone out as well :)

  14. heidiannie

    Your pigs are brilliant…just brilliant!!
    I love to play with pastry dough- savory and sweet- I use the left over dough to make pastry bees- rolled circle cut into triangles and dusted with cinnamon sugar then rolled up into bunles with brown cinnamon showing as the bees stripes! Add sliced almond wings with a drizzle of honey- YUM!
    I made Celia’s moussaka with the leftover leg of lamb- it was delish!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I would love to see the bees one day they sound pretty and spicey too! Now I am a bit more confident about pastry it is all more fun :)

      i eyed up Celia’s moussaka too, I think I might make it next time we have roast lamb too.

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