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.
When I was growing up in Bandra which believe me used to be a wonderfully quaint little village back then, with empty roads and people who knew each other, at least on a head nodding basis, the thing that made my weekends apart from our lying-in-bed quiz shows with Ma, were the flaky pastry meat puffs that Anna Falcon used to come selling from door to door.
How that little woman managed to lug those aluminium bins filled with meat puffs and sweet puffs astounded me, and I haven’t the faintest if she came along with someone to carry her wares. But what I do recall was that she always had a lovely smile on her face and those puffs tasted phenomenal. The meat puffs which I coveted were especially flavoursome… tender beef mince, delicately spiced, with onions and ginger and garlic and all those hand-pounded dry spices, lovingly encased in pastry. It tasted the same, year after year after year, never wavering in size or flavour… always good.
Anna was always apologetic whenever she was compelled to raise the price, but were she still around today, I’d give an arm and a leg for those puffs.
This is for you Anna Falcon… and to Puffs, Quiche and Pies… preferably with thin buttery and flaky crusts.