One day Alex ducked into a kitchen shop and bought me a much-desired muffin tin, not realising the enormity of its cups. It's fine if you like making muffins modeled after those found heaving on shelves in coffee shops; cakes covertly operating as breakfast food. But I've found it more useful for pressing pastry into and producing personalised pies (say that five times fast). This method works a treat if you'd like to bake pies with different fillings at the same time, as I did on this occasion — half were veggie, half were meaty.
Tarragon brings the X factor, elevating simple ingredients — frozen peas, Philadelphia, pastry — to dinner party fare. The steely sweetness of the herb cuts through the creamy filling, and lemon zest adds freshness to the whole affair.
Creamy AND zingy, ensconced in puff pastry. They won't say no.
Pea, Tarragon and Cream Cheese Posh Pie
Adapted from: Olive magazine
1 onion, finely chopped and cooked in a knob of butter until soft
150g frozen peas, defrosted
125g cream cheese, beaten until soft
small bunch tarragon, chopped
½ lemon, zested
handful parsley, chopped
500g pack puff pastry, rolled out and cut into circles (circumference depends on cup size)
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Mix the pie filling ingredients together.
Grease the muffin cups and press one piece of pastry in, making sure there is a good bit of overhang as the pastry will shrink some when baked. Repeat until all pie bases are in and then brush around each of the edges with egg. Fill each of the pie cases equally. Place the pastry lids on and press the edges together with a fork, poke a few little holes in the top and brush with egg.
Bake for about 35 - 40 minutes or until the pies look puffed and golden...
Love your Leftovers: Let any remaining pies cool completely, seal them in plastic bag and pop in the freezer. On day you'd like to eat pies again, take out of freezer a few hours before meal time to allow a full defrost. Place on baking tray and put in an oven heated to 180C/gas mark 5 for about 25 - 30 minutes. If the tops start to brown more than you'd like cover with tin foil.