Savoury Pastries with Eggplant and Tomato

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I recently visited a fellow cooking enthusiast, and she made the most amazing and delicious lunch I had in a very long time. There was a light, summery salad made with spinach, prosciutto, mozzarella and peaches. Little pancakes with cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill. Grilled herb marinated scallops and tiger shrimp. Spaghetti with lightly cooked vegetables. And there were tiny pastries with eggplant and tomatoes. (There were three different desserts as well!!!) It was the first time she made those pastries and she used the recipe from some cookbook, but the actual dough didn't work too well. It was extremely crumbly and a bit sandy. My friend was really upset about it, but the filling of those pastries was absolutely delicious. So, I got her recipe for the filling and I used the other dough recipe that I knew would work. The result was really good! Juicy, tasty, garlicky filling wrapped in thin layer of tasty pastry. I made a simple dip for those little pies: equal measures of mayo and yogurt cheese mixed with minced garlic and cilantro. Perfect combination!

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filling recipe adapted from carina-forum

makes eight medium (12 cm) pies

Pastry

  • Unbleached all purpose flour -500ml (2 cups)
  • Salt -2.5 ml (1/2 tsp)
  • Water - 60 ml (1/4cup)
  • Maple Syrup - 15 ml (1tbsp)
  • Canola oil - 125 ml (1/2 cup)
  • Oil for brushing

Filling

  • Tomatoes - 250 g (2 medium)
  • Eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes - 500 g (1 medium)
  • Onion, chopped - 1 medium
  • Cilantro, finely chopped - 1 tablespoon (my store didn't have fresh cilantro, so I used one frozen cilantro cube)
  • Garlic, minced - 1 clove
  • Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon (I didn't use it)
  • Tomato paste - 1 teaspoon (forgot to use it)
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper

- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).

- Heat some oil in a large pan and saute the onion until it's soft.
- Add the cumin and cubed eggplant to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil. Drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and drop them into cold water for 2 minutes.
- Peel the tomatoes and chop them.
- Add the tomatoes to the eggplant and cook for another 10 minutes until the eggplant is cooked.
- Add the minced garlic into the mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cilantro, salt and pepper. Let the filling cool.

- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In a measuring cup, combine the water and honey.
- Add the oil.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork until flour is just moistened.

- Roll out the dough to 3-4 mm thickness.
- Cut 12 or 8 cm circles, put some filling in the middle and fold the circle in half to create a half-moon shape. Press the edges together with a fork.
- Put the pies onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the pastries with milk, eggwash, or oil.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until the dough is baked through and golden brown.

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