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Mastering a healthier pastry!

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Practice, practice….puuuuurfect!

A few weeks ago I attempted to make spelt pastry for a pear and beetroot tart. The recipe was a flop to say the least, so I had to opt for the full butter, high gluten flour version, which was not so much to my liking.

So in true perfectionist style, I deleted the post and attempted the recipe again. This time savoury! I used a finer ground spelt flour and combined the fat of the coconut butter with vegan margarine.

Hallelujaah! this time the recipe was a result! The pastry, though not as puffy as the real thing, had a lovely consistency. Flakey and buttery, with a delicious crunch!

I topped these pastry squares with some funky little heirloom tomatoes, a spinach and pinenut pesto and some chopped basil.

I can see these tarts as the perfect summer afternoon snack. I say this as I watch the rain pouring outside my window as winter in Holland approaches.

Maybe this ones for those in the southern hemsiphere?

Spelt and coconut pastry squares with heirloom tomatoes and spinach pesto.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 1 lb of dough
– 2 1/2 cups high grade spelt flour
–  1/4 cup coconut oil/butter. (firm)
– 1/2 cup cold vegan margarine
– 1/2 cup ice cold water
– pinch of pink himalayan salt

METHOD
1. Whisk together flour and salt.
2. Combine the fats and flour but be careful not to overwork. There should be largish chunks of fat visible – don’t cut it down too much.

3. Slowly add the water bit by bit and gently mix together with a wooden spoon. When you can’t incorporate any more flour in, use your hands to gather together a dough ball. Squeeze the flour mixture together to form a ball and turn out onto a floured surface.

4. Flour the top of the dough and slowly roll out with a rolling pin. The mix will be sticky so keep adding flour . Roll into a recatangle, and be careful to make sure the base doesn’t stick to the surface. You can use a pastry cutter to even the edges.

5. Fold the top down to the middle, and the bottom to the middle.  Fold in half (pictured).  Use the pasty scraper to square everything up.

6. Rotate dough 90 degrees and repeat step 5, two more times.
7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. I refrigerated mine overnight and when I was ready to use the next day, I took the dough out of the fridge to sit for approx 30 minutes before rolling out.

Roll the dough out to about a 3- 5mm thickness and cut into desired shape. I scored a thick border around my squares to hold the filling in but thats optional. Brush with coconut oil or eggwash and bake until golden and puffy.

You can top these suckers with absolutely anything. Warm or cold. I’ve included the recipe for spinach and pinenut pesto below.

Spinach and pinenut pesto.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 1 lb of dough
– 1 large handful of spinach
–  1 bunch of basil
– 1/2 cup toasted pinenuts
– 1 clove of crushed garlic
– 1 tbs nutritional yeast
– squeeze of lime juce
– 3/4 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend.
Try not to blend too much for a chunkier pesto.

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