Mini Quiches and Apple Strudel
Filo pastry is one of the few pre-made products that makes no sense to try to attempt yourself. Each sheet is so thin that a little goes a long way, and one packet was enough to form the basis of a main course and dessert for four people.
Using the technique for individual cheese pies from the first Avoca Cafe Cookbook (layering filo into individual muffin tins, brushing each layer with melted butter, and letting the edges hang over the sides) combined with Darina Allen’s recipe for Quiche Lorraine from the Ballymaloe Cookery Course book (rashers and onions chopped, fried and cooled, added to 2 eggs and a yolk mixed with 300ml of half cream, half milk, chopped parsley and chives and 75g of freshly grated cheddar), I baked them in 180 deg C oven for about twenty minutes. I made eight, but those quantities will also be enough to make a traditional quiche in a flan dish with a shortcrust pastry base. I served two each with potato wedges, which had been tossed in a mixture of olive oil and Bush Tucker Rub (a mix of peppers, spices and seeds available from Tesco).
I laid out the remaining filo sheets on cling-film, overlapped to make a bigger “sheet”, using melted butter to seal the overlaps. Larousse Gastronomique has a traditional recipe for Apple Strudel, which involves browning breadcrumbs and chopped walnuts in melted butter in a pan, sprinkling this down the centre of the filo sheet, then layering some washed raisins, cooking apples, sugar and cinnamon over this. Overlap the sides of the pastry over the mixture, using the cling-film to help you roll the strudel. Brush it with milk and bake it in the oven for about 40 mins at 200 deg C.