spring is the time where you can find the the lush greens and fragrant scent of wild garlic if you're lucky enough to have it growing nearby.
This easy, few ingredients recipe for savoury ramson pie-bites combines the tasty green leaves with that flakiness of a classic pie crust and makes for a great snack when having guests or to enjoy on your own! ;)
Step 1: From Scratch!
Making your own homemade pie crust is actually pretty easy with a bit of practice and paying attention to the details, so store bought crust should really only be a last minute go to.
A classic pie or pastry crust is made with butter - flavorwise i think this is the way to go. it tends to bake a little tough if you handle it too much though. A more forgiving pie crust is one that is made with a mixture half of butter and half shortening. That way you get the flavor of the butter, with the easy flakiness that comes from using shortening.
Some recipes call for sugar. In sweet Pies it obviously adds to the flavor, but also in a crust for a savoury pie you can use it for a nice browning. In this case i did not because i dont think it goes along well with the fine aroma of the wild garlic.
Step 2: Ingredients
For the classic pie crust the ingredients come down to:
8oz / 250g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
4oz / 110g butter
2-3 tbsp / 60-90ml ice water (cold water)
For the filling you need:
2 hands of fresh Ramson (wild garlic)
1 red onion
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheese (e.g. emmental, cheddar, ..)
Step 3: Making the Pastry
Start by mixing flour and salt. Cut the butter to cubes and add to the flour mixture. Make sure your butter comes straight from the refrigerator and is cold.
Not warm and soft! You want little bits of cold fat in that crust that will melt and spread out as it bakes to create a beautiful flaky crust.
Use forks (or a pastry cutter if you happen to have one) to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles crumbs with about pea-sized pebbles of fat. Add some cold water (icecold ideally) a tablespoon at a time. Only use enough water to get the mixture to come together - you may not need all of the ice water. If it holds together when pinched between your fingers you know that the dough is ready. It should not be sticky though.
Handle the dough just enough to form it into a ball and be careful not to over-work it. Too much kneading breaks those small bits of butter and develops gluten which will toughen the dough.
You can of course use a food processor to make your pie crust, just be careful and use the pulse function to gradually bring it together. I like using my hands. It‘s just that you have to work quick, as the warmth of your hands will melt the fat in your dough.
Wrap the dough ball tightly in clingwrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour.
Step 4: For the Filling ...
...wash the wild garlic and cut into fine strips, add diced red onion, grated cheese, one whole egg, sour cream and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and put aside.
Step 5: Preparing the Crust
Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes to make rolling out a little easier.
Cut it into four equal pieces and roll them out one after another on a flat, floured surface.
You want the crust to be real thin (~2mm). To flatten it that much there‘s a lot of rolling involved, so make sure to sprinkle some more flour under the dough when needed to keep it from sticking. Although it is possible to use your rolling pin only, it requires great patience, so I admittingly used my pasta maker to process the crust into flat sheets.
Cut out circles of about 3 inches in diameter by using a glass or similary suited tool. To fill a 12piece muffin tray you will need 36 of those crust circles.
Step 6: Rolling Roses
Lay down 3 crust discs slightly overlapping each other (like seen in the picture) and put a little pressure on the overlapping part so they just stick together. Then place 2 Tablespoons of ramson filling in a line along the middle. Fold down the whole thing but don't stick the crust together. Apply pressure only to seal at the very ends. Now start rolling it in from one end to the other and voila: there‘s your rose!
Step 7: Baking
Place the roses on 2x2“ snippets of parchment paper and in the pans of a muffin tray.
Put in the Preheated oven (180°) for about 15 min and until golden brown and cross at the tips.
Step 8: Enjoy
Serve with some sour cream and enjoy! :)
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