Mini Mushroom, Kalonji and Feta Pies

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium
500g mushrooms, sliced (I used a mixture of Portobello and chestnut mushrooms)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp kalonji seeds
1 tsp lemon thyme, picked through
½ tsp black pepper

For the vegetarian hot water crust pastry

235g plain flour
55ml water
50ml skimmed milk
75g unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
Warm milk mixed with a pinch of turmeric to brush the pastry lids

1. First, make the filling. Heat the butter in a large pan and add the kalonji seeds and garlic. Throw in all the mushrooms and combine. Leave on a low heat for five minutes, then once some moisture is released from the mushrooms, turn up the heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the thyme and black pepper. Remove from the heat, place in a colander and allow to cool.

2. Once the filling is completely cooled, squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the mushrooms. Make sure you squeeze hard, otherwise your pastry will have a soggy bottom. Once you’ve done this, fold through the feta cheese and refrigerate.

3. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

4. To make the pastry, heat the water, milk and butter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then add in the flour. Stir with a spoon until it comes together, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead quickly until smooth and uniform.

5. Divide the dough into 6 even pieces, reserving 1/3 of each ball for the pie lid. Roll the first piece into a ball and use a rolling pin to make a circle, about 1/2cm thick to fit inside the hole of a muffin tin. Place inside the hole of the muffin tin and press to like the base, leaving a little overhang. Do this for the remaining 5 pieces of dough.

6. Fill each pastry case with mushrooms mixture, pressing down gently to make sure you get enough in.

7. Next, roll out the lids using the smaller dough balls, so they’re large enough to cover the pies and also allow you to crimp the edges to the little overhang you left on the bases. Make sure there are no gaps between the bases and lids.

8. Heat a little bit of milk in a bowl and add enough turmeric to get an egg yellow colour. Brush the tops of the pies.

9. Poke a small hole in the tops of each pie to allow steam to escape.

10. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until golden.

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