May 12, 2013

Technical challenge: rough puff - part II

Round two of the rough puff challenge, and after last week's abysmal attempt at mastering galette des rois it was time to see how the two lard pastries held up when pitted against something savoury. For the comparison at first I that thought pies might be a nice option but then decided sausage rolls would actually highlight the pastry better, and so settled on Bourke Street's lamb, harissa and almond version, as they put everything into these sausage rolls that I wouldn't.

For the filling, a mountain of capsicum was first reduced into a rich red harissa paste and then combined with the unusual suspects in lamb, couscous, toasted almonds and currants. Blanketed in pastry the rolls then headed off to the oven and it was soon time to see how the two puffs had faired.

As before, the all-lard pastry (left) was slightly more difficult to roll, but it did hold it's shape better and scored that little higher when it came to the pigeon test. While it didn't puff as much as the half-butter-half-lard version (right), which also had a much smoother finish, the layering was far more defined and so it did have the appearance of being much flakier. Both performed well after a week in the freezer, and all up I felt that both were much better suited to a savoury application.

In the end it was difficult picking a favourite as there wasn't a great deal of difference between the two, but the real winner on the day turned out to be the filling. The already flavourful lamb was enhanced by the sweetness of capsicum and heat of the chilli, and with the occasional almond coriander crunch or sweet currant burst it was a really interesting and delectable lunchtime treat. For such a simple combination there was a lot going on, and even though it seemed weird at first it worked, and did so very well.

Quite yummy really.


Anonymous said...

Those look delicious! I love savoury pastry - and the flavours in that Bourke St Bakery book are quite addictive (even just to look at). I have yet to try making these sausage rolls myself - they are not the sort of thing I would make if cooking for one! I might have plan an event...

How did the filling cope with defrosting though? Did it go soggy at the base of the roll? Did you you defrost in fridge then bake them or defrost out in the open?? I haven't had much luck with defrosting filled pastry without things getting soggy.

Em Hart said...

Hello Anon!

Thanks for your comments. BSB is indeed a lovely book, although in also cooking for one I've learnt that it does pay to halve the recipes. That said, events are always fun so go for it, I say!

This time around I made the filling fresh and just defrosted the pastry (in the fridge), but I do have some frozen away (plus some extra filling that I'm going to try out as meatballs) so I'll let you know how they go.

Miss Emily xx

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Smart - I thought you had filled them THEN defrosted. Obviously it makes sense (and a lot less mess) to do it your way. You can see I don't freeze things that often....

Planning an event. I think it will involve having mum and my girlfriends over :-) Thanks for the inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Looks great and very much like the variation of the filling. Well done Em. We have been making steak and kidney pie with hot water pastry and black pudding with students yesterday. Great classics. Cheers and smiles Carolyn