Ugly pies eh? Hehehehe. I’m quite satisfied really, for a first atempt.
The crust is pate brisee, or shortcrust pastry. I followed the recipe originating from Joanne Chang of Flour bakery. She has this interesting video teaching you how to do the pate brisee. This crust is used for her famous pop tarts at her bakery.
Anyhow, I tried my hand at making this pate brisee. It is difficult to do so in humid Singapore weather. The butter, just cold from the fridge, still disintegrated into the flour by the time I poured out everything on the counter. So there really wasn’t much butter to use the heel of my hand on. Darn.
The ratio of butter to flour is alarmingly high. The shortcrust pasty we make at Home Economics class is on a 1/2 butter : 1 flour ratio. This one is almost 1:1! That is what makes the dough so flaky and buttery, of course..duh…I took out the dough after 4 hours of chill time in the fridge, then rolled it and used a normal cup to cut the dough into circles, pressed it lightly into the aluminium mould and pierced the dough with a fork a few times.
The chicken, mushroom and potato filling was scooped in and another layer of dough was pressed to fit, then scored at the edges with a fork. I pierced the top dough a few times with the fork too. A light coating of egg wash was applied and into the oven at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes it went.
Do make the filling way in advance and let it cool to room temperature before filling. I didn’t. So what happened was by the time I completed the 5th pie, the first one, due to the heat of the filling, was leaking oil.
Yup..leaking. I did the rest of the pies at my best speed then stuck the lot of them in the fridge for 10 minutes before popping them into the oven to bake. Because of the high butter content, the pies will leak a lot during baking, so be sure to place them on trays and not racks to bake.
The pate brisee recipe can be found from The Kitchn. Filling is my own recipe. If you’re interested, the recipe for the filling is:
Potato Mushroom Chicken filling
- 6 medium russet potatoes, peel and diced
- 2 small chicken breasts, de-boned, de-skinned, cut into cubes and marinated (see point 1 for marinate)
- 7 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 15 fresh shitake mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 8 fresh white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 2 tbsp soya sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 pinches of sea salt
- white pepper and black pepper to taste
- Marinate chicken breasts with 2 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, white pepper and a dash of sesame oil. Cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Place potatoes in a medium pot and boil till soft. Drain and set aside.
- In a large saucepan over a medium fire, place butter. Once butter is melted, fry garlic until fragrant.
- Add in chicken breasts, both types of mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tbsp soya sauce, 2 tbsp oyster sauce, the salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn to high heat and let it boil for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Add in heavy cream.
- Turn to medium heat and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the liquid content is almost gone.
- Turn off heat and let it cool completely before using.
I only used half of the filling above. That is because the precious pate brisee is not enough! Arghh. Anyway the dough above made just 10 small pies. The pastry is flaky, buttery and so so tasty. If I make this again, I’ll try to smear the butter. Hahaha! Thinking hard on how to make sure the butter doesn’t melt so fast. Hmm..frozen butter? Nah…I think I’ll cut larger chunks and reduce the mixing time to 30 seconds. 🙂