I had been wanting to make my ‘signature’ dessert dish, the one I have made over and over again since I was about 17: Chocolate & Bailey’s Tart. Since I had cream and chocolate already, but was lacking enough flour to make the pastry, I was delighted to be able to defrost the ready-made dough and make my husband and I my favourite dessert.
Because it was just for the two of us for the week ahead and I didn’t want to use up all the chocolate, I decided to make just a small one. However, in doing so, I found myself with excess pastry that had already been frozen and defrosted, so needed using up!
Not to worry, I have a little trick up my sleeve for times like these!
I used to make jam tartlets from leftover pastry by building little pastry cases in a muffin tray, baking them for a few minutes until slightly golden, and then filling with homemade jam or marmalade. However, after having discovered this wonderful recipe for homemade pop tarts a while ago and really enjoying playing around with flavours and ingredients, I decided to use leftover pastry, homemade jam and ripe fruits to make a very simplified version – mini fruit pies.
After trying it out once and loving it, this is now my go-to solution for that extra pastry you often have leftover after a recipe and don’t want to throw out. They are absolutely delicious, so simple, and use up several pantry ingredients in one go!
So, without further ado, here are two simple and delicious recipes for using up pastry dough:
Claire’s Chocolate and Bailey’s Tart
Serves 6 (makes 1 8″ tart)
1 quantity “all-butter, really flaky pie dough” (or any shortcrust pastry – this is just my favourite!)
100g good-quality dark chocolate, 70% or more
150ml double cream
1 tbsp Bailey’s (you can adjust this to your own tastes, but I like it to be relatively obvious as a flavour)
1. Roll out the pastry (having taken it out of the fridge and allowed it to get to room temperature of course), and line a greased 8in cake/tart/pie tin with it, pressing the dough into the edges and trimming it. Put the leftover dough to one side for the mini fruit pies.
2. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with ceramic baking beans (or rice), and bake blind in a 180C/350F/gas 4 preheated oven for 15 mins. Remove the beans and paper and return the pastry case to the oven for a few more minutes, until it has gone slightly golden brown all over. Allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, bring the double cream to a boil in a saucepan, taking care not to let it boil for long. As it starts to bubble, turn the heat down and stir in the chocolate and butter until melted. Take off the heat and stir in the Bailey’s (taste to make sure the flavour is to your liking and add more Bailey’s if you want!).
4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pastry case and allow to cool, then place in the fridge until set.
And while the tart is setting…
Makes 6 small hand-held pies
Leftover pastry dough
2 fruits of your choice, thinly sliced (I like peaches best)
6 tsp of jam (I like to use my homemade plum jam or whatever else is available)
A little caster sugar (optional)
1. Roll out the leftover dough and cut into six rectangles.
2. Place a few slices of your fruit in one half of each rectangle, and top with a tsp of jam. Fold the other half of the rectangle over the top and press down to seal. Crimp edges with the prongs of a fork if desired.
3. Sprinkle a little caster sugar over the top of each pie if using, and bake in a 180C/350F/gas 4 oven for 15-20 mins, until the pies are golden and the jam is slightly bubbling (a little bit will often leak out!).
4. Serve warm on their own or with a bit of cream or yogurt.