Strawberry Tarts

I love pastry, especially flaky pastry… never mind the loads of butter and the the griping about the hips. Because as my grandma once said, “they’re family hips child”. So if anyone wants to know… I got hips in my legacy. And I’ve learned to live with it.

But getting right back to pastry, I’ve been dying to make puff pastry ever since I could say… Julia Child. But making a pâté feuilletée from scratch is no small task. In fact if you follow Julia’s directives, a regular pâté feuilletée should have 73 layers and a pâté feuilletée fine 730 layers.

Merde!

Now pardon my French, s’il vous plait, but I honestly got intimidated by the prospect of 73 layers, let alone 730. Here I am, standing 5′ 3″ and no where near the build of that great dame. I mean seriously, think of all the muscle that has to go into rolling out pastry dough. And before I cuss again I think I should get on with letting you in on how I finally managed to crack the code. All with the help of a young man named Kamran Siddiqi and his website, the sophisticated gourmet.

“Thanks Kam for the easy puff pastry recipe”… because voilà, suddenly the ghost of Julia lifted and I was hands deeps in mounds of fine white flour and yellow knobs of frozen butter. And life was looking up.

So here’s my modest attempt at a Strawberry Tart. I had planned to put in a splash of balsamic, but since I was going to take some across for my mother who cannot have anything tart at the moment (and no… that doesn’t include tarts… oh! never mind!) I decided to go without either balsamic or lemon juice and simply dredged the fruit in icing sugar, topping the strawberries with fresh rosemary.

I was so wrapped up in making the dough that I forgot to take any pictures, but my camera happy finger got back into action once it was time to roll out the pastry

Doesn’t everything look lovely with icing sugar?

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Chicken, Peas and Parsley Pies

I love butter and I love pastry. But working with it is a challenge in Mumbai where the temperature is anything from hot to hotter to hottest. So I stuck my hands in ice cold water and rubbed them with ice-cubes to keep them cold.

I made these pies in a muffin tray. Individual servings,  perfect for a light lunch or dinner… or even as an in-between-meals kinda snack.

You can fix yourself a salad on the side, in case you feel guilty about all that butter in the pastry, and want something to cut that fat… But it’s quite unnecessary.

These pies don’t feel heavy on the stomach at all… and butter is in any case good for the soul.

Chicken and Parsley Pies