Cheese and Bacon Puffs

Perfect for an early picnic: Cheese and Bacon Puffs

The weather is still very changeable but we’re getting the odd nice day when a picnic or eating outside is a distinct possibility. These tasty little mini-pasties are really quick to put together – especially if you whiz up the pastry in a food processor. Irresistible fresh from the oven, they are also good cold.

And if the weather turns nasty again before you’ve even had a chance to get them out of the oven; they are just as tasty inside with a bowl of cream of tomato soup to dip them into.

Strong bread flour gives the all-butter shortcrust an extra flakiness. It also makes the dough slightly elastic and more accommodating for easing over the bumpy filling.

Makes 10

  • 220g strong bread flour
  • 110g cold salted butter, diced
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 5 medium rashers back bacon
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 40-50g mature Cheddar cheese, diced into ½ cm cubes
  • 1 small egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water

You will need a greased baking tray and a 10cm fluted cutter

Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven) or equivalent

Whiz flour and butter into fine crumbs. Add water. Whiz again.

Once big clumps form remove immediately and knead gently into a ball.

Roll on a lightly floured board to the thickness of a ten pence piece. Cut out circles. Minimise re-rolling.

Rest in fridge for 20-30 minutes – ideally on the baking tray.

Remove majority of fat from bacon and set aside. Cut bacon into approximately 1cm pieces. Heat bacon fat gently in a pan with the oil until it renders. Add bacon and fry until just starting to colour. Drain on kitchen paper and cool.

Arrange bacon and cheese on one half of pastry circles, brush edges with water, fold and seal.

Brush with egg wash, pierce 2 small holes for steam to escape and bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden.

Tips

Season filling with pepper if you like: coarsely ground black pepper, ground white or cayenne. You could also add a good pinch of dry mustard to the pastry flour.