Spiced Lentil, Vegetable and Apricot Spelt Pastries

Spiced Lentil, Vegetable and Apricot Spelt Pastries

Serves: 8 pastries plus extra filling

Prep time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

 These hearty little morsels are packed with fresh root vegetables, toasted Moroccan inspired spices and Persian red lentils, with the added sweetness of apricot. Wrapped in a flaky, spelt pastry decorated with spring inspired pastry blossoms, they are an explosion of warmth, texture and flavor. So delicious as a complete handheld snack and pretty to boot. I served them with a coriander cream to balance the rich spice, and of course a good grind of black pepper.

 Cooking tools needed: Cole & Mason Derwent salt and pepper mills in Chestnut & Rose Gold


 Spelt Flaky Pastry

  •         120g plain flour
  •         90g wholemeal spelt flour
  •         1 teaspoon caster sugar
  •         ½ teaspoon salt flakes
  •         180g cold unsalted butter
  •         80ml iced water

Lentil, root vegetable and apricot filling

·         60g dried Turkish apricots

  •         ½ cup Persian red lentils – washed
  •         2 teaspoons toasted and ground cumin seeds
  •         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •         1 teaspoon toasted and ground coriander seeds
  •         ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  •         ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  •         A pinch of ground cloves and nutmeg
  •         A pinch of saffron threads soaked in 2 tablespoons of boiling water
  •         3 tablespoons olive oil
  •         1 onion
  •         2 cloves garlic
  •         4 cups of ½ to 1cm peeled and cubed root vegetables. (1 cup each of celeriac, sweet potato, parsnip and potato)
  •         750ml chicken or vegetable stock
  •         ¼ cup toasted almond flakes (crushed)
  •         Extra salt to taste
  •         1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk for the egg wash
  •         Extra cumin seeds to sprinkle onto the finished pastries

Coriander Cream
·         1 cup fresh coriander leaves (loosely packed)

  •         1 small clove of garlic
  •         2 tablespoons olive oil
  •         2 tablespoons lemon juice
  •         ½ cup sour cream
  •         Salt and pepper to taste

To make the pastry:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar and salt.

  1. Cube the butter into 1-2cm sized pieces.
  2. Transfer the flour mixture into the large bowl of a food processor and add the cubed butter on top.
  3. Pulse about 6 times or until the butter is incorporated into the flour but with visible large pea sized blobs of butter still present.
  4. Add the iced water and pulse until the dough is just combined then empty onto a bench and press the mixture together with your hands into a ball. You want the dough to be a cohesive mass without overworking it.
  5. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes to rest.
  6. Roll out onto a floured bench to a 25x40cm rectangle, then fold the two short edges to the center, and the pastry in half again like a book. Chill for one hour.
  7. Roll and fold the pastry again and then chill overnight, wrapped in baking paper or cling film (or a reusable silicon or beeswax wrap)

 To prepare the filling:

  1. Soak the apricot in hot water for one hour to soften, then drain and chop coarsely to retain decent sized chunks.
  2. Prepare the spice mix by toasting and grinding the cumin and coriander and mixing with the cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, clove and nutmeg.
  3. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat the oil in a deep large pan and fry until soft.
  4. Add the spices and fry until fragrant and just starting to brown.
  5. Add the lentils, half the stock and liquid from the soaked saffron threads and simmer for 10 minutes over low-moderate heat.
  6. Add the vegetables, apricots and remaining stock and simmer until the vegetables are soft but not falling apart and the liquid has reduced (10-15 minutes). Season to taste and allow to cool completely.
  7. Add the crushed almonds and chill the mixture before use.

 Assembling the pastries:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (180 degrees C fan forced)
  2. Lightly flour a cool bench and roll the spelt pastry out to approximately 3mm thickness.
  3. Cut out 8x14cm circles and reserve the remaining pastry for decorations
  4. Mix the egg with a splash of milk and brush the edges of half of each pastry circle.
  5. Add a good tablespoon of filling to the center of the circle and enclose, pressing the edges together so that you have a semicircular shaped pastry.
  6. Stamp out different sized pastry flowers using blossom cutters (I use metal fondant cutters) and attach to the pastry with a little egg wash.
  7. Place the pastry onto a baking paper lined tray, brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with cumin seeds.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and slightly puffed.
  9. Eat whilst hot, served with coriander cream

 For the coriander cream:

  1. Whiz the washed coriander leaves, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and a little salt in the small bowl of a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add sour cream and whiz until just thickened.
  3. Chill until ready to serve, I used my Cole & Mason acacia wooden board in medium.

·         The pastry can be prepared up to two days ahead and the filling a day ahead if needed.

  •         If you don’t have a food processor, the pastry can be prepared by rubbing the cold butter into the flour mixture until you have pea sized lumps of butter, then stir in the iced water and gently combine to form a dough.
  •         I ice water by pouring cold water over a cup of ice cubes, then measuring off the required amount.
  •         Try and use the freshest spices you can for the best flavor. Toasting spices make the spices even more fragrant and delicious.
  •         If you prefer it less spicy, add a little less to the mix and top up according to taste.
  •         Use what’s in season and available for the vegetable filling – other options include carrot, white sweet potato, pumpkin or eggplant for instance.



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