Blog, Snacks

Puff Pastry Squares

1200 x 800 fetaured images - Book Puuf Pastry Squares - V01

A little bit retro but so simple to make and great for a light dinner or cocktail snack. Try the toppings I’ve given here — or get creative and create your own!

Preparation time: 15 minutes • Cooking time: 25 minutes • Makes 8

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry

Tomato & olive squares

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Handful of chopped Italian parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon capers

Juice of ½ a lemon

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Sliced mozzarella ball or goats cheese

Small punnet of cherry tomatoes, chopped

Small bunch of thyme, chopped

Handful of basil

Smoked salmon squares

1 cup crème fraîche

Small handful of fresh dill, chopped

1 teaspoon capers, chopped

Squeeze of lemon juice

Dash of black pepper

White pepper and salt

1 free-range egg, beaten (for brushing pastry)

250g smoked salmon

Small handful of fresh chives

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C fanbake.

Cut each sheet of pastry into four squares. Gently score (don’t cut right through) the edges of each pastry square with a knife, 1cm in, and prick the centres with a fork. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Lay out four pastry squares on each oven tray and place in the fridge to cool.

To make the olive tapenade (for the Tomato & Olive Squares), blend olives in a food processor with chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, capers, lemon juice and pepper.

To make the herbed crème fraîche (for the Smoked Salmon Squares), simply mix crème fraîche with dill, capers and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the trays out of the fridge and, on one tray, prepare the Tomato & Olive Squares. Put a good dollop of olive tapenade in the centre and top with a slice of mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of thyme. Season well.

Bake for 15–20 minutes until golden and nicely puffed around the edges. Once cooked, garnish with fresh basil and add a dash of olive oil.

On the other tray, prepare the Smoked Salmon Squares. For these, we need to blind-bake the pastry so that the centres don’t puff up. Line the middle of the pastry with a little baking paper (up to the scored line) and place rice or beans on the baking paper. Gently brush the pastry edges with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden.

When cold, remove the rice or beans and line the squares with the crème fraîche mix. Top with smoked salmon and season well before garnishing with chopped chives.