Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Starry Starry Pies

This is a post to commemorate some pleasant little firsts- the first time I have tried celeriac, the first time I have made vol-au-vents, and the first time I have discovered the wonderful and inspiring Homemade cookbooks by Yvette Van Boven. 

The bulbous looking celery root was a nice surprise. Its flavor is obviously reminiscent of celery itself, peppery, yet more hearty. I never would have previously thought to put celery in a pie, but when paired with cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary, it is actually quite superb and comforting on a cold winter's night. 

A vol-au-vent, I found out, is a light puff pastry shell typically filled with savory ingredients such as vegetables, meat, or fish. While the pastry recipe that I adapted for the crust of these particular pies cannot really be defined as "puff" pastry, it is fairly light for being gluten free and even seemingly multi- layered and flaky. I borrowed the idea of using celeriac as one of the ingredients to fill the pie shells from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Homemade Winter

I love it when I come across a new creative approach to food and food styling and photography, and Yvette Van Boven has certainly given me a sense of validation for my own style, combining illustration and art with scenery, culture, photography, and delicious eats. I am also especially intrigued by the photos of Amsterdam, Paris, Ireland, and surrounding areas, that accompany the recipes in her cookbooks, shot by Oof Verschuren. It is no mystery why the Homemade duo has won numerous awards. Check them out!

Gluten Free Pastry

3/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the flours with the salt and both gums. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of the flour blend and transfer to another bowl, reserve the leftover amount for another use.
2. Cut in the Earth Balance until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time to make a dough that sticks together when pressed between two fingers.
3. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, until ready to roll out.

Flour blend for pastry recipe from Helene Dujardin of Tartelette 

Celeriac, Cauliflower, and Sun-dried Tomato Vol-au-Vents 
makes about 6 servings

4 cups vegetable broth
1 small or 1/2 large celeriac, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
3/4 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or Earth Balance
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
1/4 cup sweet table wine
GF pastry dough
1 egg, beaten

1. Bring the broth to a boil. Add the celeriac and simmer until tender. Drain, reserving the broth. Set aside.
2. Spread out the cauliflower on a baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 390 degrees F until tender. Stir the sun-dried tomatoes and celeriac into the cauliflower.
3. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and rosemary and saute for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour.
4. Stir in the broth, cooking and stirring until the sauce is about as thick as yogurt. Stir in the wine. Cook again until thick. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower, celeriac, and sun-dried tomatoes. Let filling cool.
5. Roll out the pastry dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Line several small cake pans/ pie plates or 1 large pan with the dough and trim off any excess dough around the edges. Cut out stars from the remaining dough. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to use.
6. Fill the dough with the vegetable filling. Place the stars on the vol-au-vents and brush all with beaten egg.
7. Bake the vol-au-vents about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on size. Cook until they are golden brown.

Recipe for Vol-au-Vents inspired by recipe in Homemade Winter by Yvette Van Boven

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