Monday, November 25, 2013

Herb and Walnut Pie Crust Leaves

Did I ever mention how much I love pastry?  To me, the crust is the best, most important part of a pie or quiche.  I'd even be willing to scoop the filling out if it meant more crust.  Well... almost.  But it does make sense that I love to make savory appetizers out of my favorite crust recipe.



Since we're right in the middle of holiday entertaining season and, with Thanksgiving just a few days away, my food processor has been working overtime producing dough.  Pies, crumb toppings, crackers...it's a baking production line in my kitchen.  These adorable little leaves get a slight crunch from chopped walnuts and a kick of flavor from fresh herbs.  Bring on the cocktail parties and enjoy!

Ingredients
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
1/4 Cup ice water
2 Tablespoons chopped chives
1/4 Cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

Combine the butter, flour and salt in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse just until it resembles course crumbs. Slowly pour in the ice water and pulse just until combined and a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Combine the chives, chopped walnuts and grated cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

When the dough has chilled, cut it in half and roll each half out on a well-floured surface.  The filling will be sandwiched between each half so they need to be rolled out pretty thin.  Sprinkle the chive, walnut and cheese mixture over one of the dough layers and top with the second layer.  Using your rolling pin, roll over both layers to compress the filling and seal the edges.  Cut out shapes with your favorite leaf cutter and place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry is a light golden brown.  I used a 3" leaf cutter and got a dozen finished pastry leaves.

11 comments:

  1. There was a time in my life where I couldn't stand cooked fruit, so whenever there was pie in front of me, I was the person picking off the crust. Yeah, I'm that gal. To me this is perfection.

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  2. Oh goodness, I love those! Makes me wish I was hosting Thanksgiving. Well sort of, we are coming to NYC, so excited to get there!

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  3. These sound divine! One question, I have a family member allergic to all types of nuts. Could you provide a suitable substitution for the walnuts or do you think they would be just as yummy without them?

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    1. Hi Olivia,

      Since this is not my area of expertise, I've been consulting with some of my fellow food writers who do nut-free recipes. They all agree that seeds (sesame, for example) work nicely to replace the crunch factor. However, they caution that many seeds are processed at plants that also process nuts and you'd need to find a nut-free seed source in order to make them safe for your friend. To make life easier, I would say to just leave out the nuts altogether and have a chive and Parmesan cracker. They'll be delicious either way. Good luck and let me know how it went.

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  4. Wow! I love these - they are so pretty but I could never get MPE to eat a walnut so I will substitute sesame seeds - but I really want to do it for a Thanksgiving appetizer!

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  5. These are so lovely and they look delicious!!

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  6. Glad I'm not the only one who likes the crust. I may or may not eat the raw dough *ahem*. Anyways, what a delightful savory treat.

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  7. Anita, what a fabulous idea to make appies out of pie crust! Girl, I'm the same as you - the crust is my favourite part of pie, tarts, etc. If it didn't mean obesity and heart disease, I would just bake crusts without anything in 'em and eat 'em as is. These leaves are beautiful (there's now way I'd be able to make anything this pretty!) and I love the combo of walnuts with the herbs.

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  8. I never would've guessed to make savory crust bites! Very smart :)

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