After a rather long and unscheduled break, I thought is was time to get back into the kitchen, and what better to make on a rainy weekend than picnic food, in the hope for some picnic weather.
The weather never came, so what was picnic food turned into lunch at work food.
I was inspired to make pastry goods after a trip to the Malton Farmers' Market on our last trip over to North Yorkshire. We came across a stall from a Farm in Claxton where the lady was selling a range of gluten-free goods, alongside her normal sausages and pies etc. We bought a minced beef pie, chicken pie and mini sausage rolls. She explained that someone in her family needed gluten-free so she decided to make everything herself. She also makes a range for people who can eat gluten, but not wheat.
My first attempt (actually that's a lie, my first attempt in recent years) into making gluten-free pastry started with homemade sausage rolls. Seems simple enough, but to have gluten-free sausagemeat without forking out for gluten-free sausages to split, meant making my own.
For both the recipes for sausagemeat and the pastry I turned to the ever-reliable Leiths Techniques Bible.
I used their basic sausagemeat recipe and their rich shortcrust pastry recipe.
450g minced fatty pork
1 medium onion, very finely chopped (optional - I used it)
4 slices of white bread, crumbed (I used one gluten-free roll)
1 egg, beaten
fresh sage leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Mix together the pork and onion
2. Stir the breadcrumbs into the mixture with the egg and sage (I added some extra dried sage and some extra thyme as I like my sausage meat herby!)
3. Add plenty of salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Fry a little of the mixture to check the seasoning.
Rich shortcrust pastry
170g plain flour
1 egg yolk (white reserved for glazing the sausage rolls)
2 tablespoons ice cold water.
I didn't follow their method exactly as I used a food processor to rub in the butter to the flour, but then followed it by sprinkling on the water mixed with the egg yolk. And then chilling in the fridge.
After chilling the pastry, it became difficult to handle, so I added a little more water and a little more flour to get it to a roll-able consistency.
After rolling out, I put a sausage shaped length of sausagemeat along the pastry.
I brushed on some of the reserved egg white to act as glue and carefully rolled over the pastry. The pastry did crack a little, but nothing major.
I then chopped up the roll to create mini sausage rolls (admittedly, not the prettiest), all ready for baking. After a brush of egg white, they went into the oven at Gas 7/ 220C for around half an hour until golden.
The sausage rolls were excellent. The pastry was tasty, but a little dry. But to be expected from gluten-free flour really. But the sausagemeat was moist, and very very tasty. They lasted most of the week for lunches. Next time, maybe cheese and onion rolls, and hopefully we'll make it out on that picnic.