Some time last year, F and I got into the habit of treating ourselves to a sausage roll – a classic British hand-held snack – from Dunn’s Bakery in Crouch End after doing our weekly fruit and vegetable shopping across the street. F remarked at one point that sausage rolls must not be that hard to make at home, so he embarked on a recipe search and turned out some beauties based on this video.
Fast forward to a year later and we’re now in Germany without easy access to bakery-bought sausage rolls (the horror!). So with gray, wintery weather setting in, we thought we’d make them again ourselves while waiting for our tiny human to appear. This time, we tried our hand at homemade rough puff pastry, which turned out pretty well, with a little bit of lamination. You can definitely use store-bought puff pastry, though, to simplify and speed up the process.
out of the oven!
Sausage rolls are easy to make: add fresh herbs to pork mince (ground pork, for US readers; Schweinehack for Germans!); make a log of meat (sounds appealing, I know) on top of the puff pastry; seal closed; egg wash and garnish with salt and fennel; bake; eat! Don’t skip the fennel and sea salt on the crust – they really bring it all together.
Sausage Rolls(recipe adapted from here; makes 10-14 sausage rolls, depending on how you slice)
1 pack/batch of puff pastry (store bought is fine; we’ve used that as well as this homemade rough puff from Joy the Baker)
1kg/2.2lbs pork mince (ground pork)
1 medium bunch each of fresh sage, thyme, & chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
to taste: salt & pepper
2 eggs, beaten (for egg wash)
1-2 large pinches of coarse sea salt flakes
1-2 large pinches of fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 200C/400F (convection setting).
Chop the herbs and mix them into the pork mince along with the bread crumbs and salt & pepper.
Lay/roll out the puff pastry and arrange the mince on top in a log shape, a few centimeters from one long edge.
Lightly egg wash the long edge that the meat is closest to, then fold the pastry over the meat and seal to the egg washed bit by crimping with a fork.
Trim any excess pastry edge from the crimped side but make sure there is still a centimeter or so of sealed bit.
Egg wash the top of the long log, then sprinkle on sea salt and fennel seeds.
Cut the log into roll-sized pieces of your choice (you should get 10-14 individual sausage rolls) and arrange the pieces on a parchment-lined baking tray.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and the meat is cooked through (71C/160F).
Let the sausage rolls cool for 15-20 minutes, then enjoy warm. You can store extras in the fridge and eat them cold or reheat them for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.
In the mood for pizza but don’t feel like making dough? Use puff pastry and it will be called a tart but will pretty much be pizza. That’s how this caprese tart was born, along with inspiration from Simply Delicious. All you need are pre-made puff pastry, some tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and a glug or two of olive oil. It comes together quickly — great for a weeknight dinner — and results in a gooey, delicious, healthful tart. It’s great on a warm spring or summer evening with a green salad.
Oh man. This tart is SO GOOD. It’s like an explosion in your mouth. Slightly sweet, caramelized garlic meets earthy rosemary and thyme meets smooth, tangy goat cheese. If any of that sounds good to you, make this tart now. It’s so delicious that we made it last three days because we didn’t want it to disappear too quickly (it tastes great cold).
This caramelized garlic and goat cheese tart comes from our German version of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty cookbook (it’s called Genussvoll vegetarisch in German). We enjoyed it alongside these poached spring vegetables, also from Plenty. It’d also be great cut into small wedges and served as an appetizer or as part of a brunch or dinner buffet.
Caramelized Garlic & Goat Cheese Tart(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty/Genussvoll vegetarisch; makes 6-8 generous servings)
375g puff pastry (store-bought is the easiest)
3 heads of garlic, cloves peeled & kept whole
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
to taste: salt & pepper
230-250g goat cheese
100g single cream
100g crème fraîche
Cut a large circle out of the puff pastry and press it into your tart pan (or springform cake pan, like we used), making sure to build up the sides at least 1-2 inches. Cover the crust with baking paper and weight it with dried beans, then refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Blind-bake the weighted crust for 15 minutes. Take it out of the oven, remove the baking paper and beans, then put the crust back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes or until it is golden. Set the crust aside and leave the oven on.
While the crust is chilling and baking, caramelize the garlic: in a small pot, blanch the garlic cloves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain the garlic cloves well and dry out the pot. Put the garlic back in the pot and add the olive oil; place on the stove on high heat, cooking until the garlic is lightly browned. Add the balsamic vinegar and 220mL of water, bring to a boil, and let cook for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, thyme, and 2 pinches of salt, then let the mixture simmer over medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are in a thick syrup (20-30 minutes). Set aside.
Prepare the tart: drop blobs of goat cheese onto the crust, then add the garlic and its syrup. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, crème fraîche, 1/2 tsp salt, and some pepper. Pour the creamy mixture over the cheese and garlic.
Lower the oven temperature to 160C and bake the tart for 35-40 minutes, until the filling is set and the top is golden-brown. Let cool, then serve warm or cold.