Introduction: Pie Tee (Top Hats)
Pie Tee, otherwise known as Top Hats is a familiar snack made with crispy thin fried shells filled with Stir-Fry Savoury Jicama / yam bean. Effortless to eat but not so easy to make are these shells. These pastry shells are made using a special mould called a pie tee.
Frying these shells is really time consuming so it requires ample of patience and time to do this. But the effort is DEFINITELY worth it as these are such good eats. These pastry shells can be made ahead of time and kept in air-tight containers until needed. Hence they are great for a brunch or tea party. Just sit back and relax, watching your guests enjoying themselves filling their own top hats shells and eating them right away. Certainly a crowd-pleaser!
Making Pie Tee is a two-step process: Preparation of the filling and topping and making of the pie tee shells.
180 gm all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tbsp rice flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water
Step 1: Prepare Yam Bean Filling.
First cook the filling to fill the pie tee shells.
In a wok, heat up vegetable oil and fry minced garlic until fragrant and golden brown in colour.
Then add in finely chopped dried shrimp and fry on low heat for about 10 minutes or until it turns brown and fragrant.
Then mix in the shredded yam bean. Add in salt, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, five spice powder and chicken stock granules. Stir-fry until all the seasonings are infused into the yam bean mixture.
When everything is well mixed, add in sliced french bean. Lastly add in shredded carrot. Continue to stir fry until all vegetables are cooked but still remain crisp.
Just before dishing out, season with ground white pepper. And we're done! Dish up onto casserole and leave to cool before using as filling for the pie tee shell.
Step 2: Have Ready Batter Ingredients for the Pie Tee Shells.
Measure all the ingredients needed to make batter for the pie tee shells.
This flour includes a balance of high-gluten hard wheat and low-gluten soft wheat. It is also known as refined flour or simply flour. It is used in a wide variety of goods without having to stock up on multiple types of flour.
It is a form of flour made from finely milled rice. This flour is ground to a finer grain than wheat flour so the rice will crisp and brown quicker. It produces a nicely browned coating on the pie tee shells.
Eggs help the batter to develop a richer golden-brown colour.
Acts as a flavouring agent for the pie tee shells.
To balance salty flavour in the batter.
Use room temperature water.
Step 3: Make the Batter for Pie Tee Shell.
In a mixing bowl, add in the sifted all-purpose flour and rice flour.
Then add in the salt.
Followed by the eggs.
Add in the water gradually.
Combined everything together and mix until smooth.
Next, strain the batter into a smaller bowl or measuring jug. The process of straining the batter is to ensure it is entirely free of lumps.
Set aside the smooth batter to rest for an hour.
It is important to rest the batter before cooking. Resting ensures a thin and uniform structure to the fried pie tee shells. Also as the gluten (formed during the mixing of batter) had time to relax, the texture is incredibly delicate instead of chewy.
Step 4: Prepare to Make the Pie Tee Shells.
First, line a plate with paper towels. This is to drain the excess oil from the fried pie tee shells so it doesn't cling and soak into the shells.
Heat up enough oil in wok or pan deep enough to cover the pie tee mold.
Use a deep, wide pot like a stockpot or wok for easier deep-frying.
Also, use enough oil so that you can submerge the pie tee shells completely so the shells can brown uniformly.
To test if oil is ready for deep-frying, dip a wooden chopstick into the preheated oil. If the oil starts to bubble steadily, then the oil is hot enough for deep-frying. If the oil bubbles very vigorously, then the oil is too hot and needs to cool off a touch. If no or very few bubbles pop up, then it's not hot enough.
Do not overcrowd the pot or wok when deep-frying as this will result in a dramatic temperature drop and oily pie tee shells. Deep-fry in small batches for best results.
Step 5: Make the Pie Tee Shells.
Using medium heat, dip the mold into the heated oil until it's just hot ( but not too hot ).
Shake off excess oil and dip the mold into the batter until it's coated up to about 95% level (almost to the edge) making sure it's well coated on the sides and bottom.
Lift the pie tee mold up and let the excess batter drip off before dipping it into the hot oil.
To separate the batter from the mold, jiggle the mold lightly and use a wooden chopstick to separate shell from the mold.
Once it's off the mold, deep fry in the oil until it turns light golden brown in colour.
Transfer it onto the plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil from the pie tee shells.
Repeat the same with the rest of the batter. Then quickly store in an airtight container until needed. And we're done!
Pie tee shells can be made ahead of time and store in an airtight container until needed.
Store the pie tee shells only when they are completely cooled. Otherwise, they will turn soft again.
Step 6: Serve the Pie Tee.
These savoury pie tee treats should be eaten immediately on serving. Otherwise the yam bean filling will damp and cause the pie tee shells to soften and turn soggy.
First put a small piece of lettuce into a pie tee shell.
Add a tablespoon of savoury yam bean filling and then top with cooked prawn, shallot crisps, and coriander leaves.
Then serve with some sweet chilli sauce and Enjoy!