Puff Pastry Pot Pies

The retreat is a mere 4 days away! It's not too late to take my last spot!

It's crunch time for the menu planning and keeping in theme with the winter comfort food, I decided that a puff pastry something-er-other would be perfect.

I've got a couple vegetarians this weekend and one of my favourite vegetarian comfort foods is a flaky, hearty, pot pie. It's easily adaptable for the meat eaters, and equally comforting when filled to the brim with winter vegetables.

Ever since the puff pastry episode of The Great British Bake Off, I've wanted to try Paul Hollywood's recipe to try and make puff pastry from scratch. If you have never heard of the show, or who this Paul character is that I speak of, you are missing out!

The method for making the puff pastry seems straight forward. Make the dough, flatten some butter in the middle, fold and flatten, fold and flatten, fold and flatten. Paul does a great video demo of how to do this, and he stresses how important it is to make sure you rechill the dough and butter between each fold and flatten.

With all the "chill for an hour" or "chill overnight" the whole process does take a little while. I took a few shortcuts (of course) and was really so impressed with the outcome. My trial pot pies were mostly delicious with such a superbly flaky and crispy crust. I did learn that you need to roll a piece of pastry significantly larger than the size of the dish to allow for lots of shrinking, but I'm feeling good about our Friday night dinner to start the retreat off on the right foot!

For the pot pie filling, I mostly followed Ina Garten's recipe for Vegetable Pot Pie: a delicious mix of your usual suspects (carrots, potatoes, onions) plus butternut squash and fennel.

Happy Family Day to all my Canadian readers!