There are plenty of pastry varieties to bake with – such as filo, shortcrust and puff – and always new ways to use them. Try your hand at new twists on your favourite tarts and pies or experiment with unusual shapes and techniques to impress your family with your baking skills.
We love a traditional pie here, but try looking further afield for new inspiration. Boreks are filled pastries found across the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe that are known for their crisp flaky pastry and savoury fillings. Try making your own with these easy goat’s cheese and beetroot filo parcels for a tasty vegetarian midweek meal.
In cold winter months, pastry is a delicious way to make your meals extra filling, so add oomph to your soups and stews by adding a pastry lid. It's like a pie, but without any worries about a soggy bottom! For a twist on a classic soup, try this smoked haddock chowder pot pie for the ultimate creamy comfort food.
Tarte tatin and baklava are familiar desserts – but who says they always have to be sweet? Update the originals by keeping the pastry but swapping the fruit and nuts for bold savoury flavours. Instead of apples and caramel, try this savoury beetroot tarte tatin for an impressive veggie main, or this cheesy twist on baklava filled with broccoli, feta and almond served with a vibrant pea purée.
From apple pies to Cornish pasties, pastry dishes often look simple on the outside but hide exciting fillings within. Spanish empanadas are similar to familiar British pasties and make substantial tapas-inspired finger food. These stuffed empanadas hide a generous filling of richly spiced turkey mince, or get the kids cooking these super-easy empanadas.
With its creamy filling and rich buttery crust, it's no surprise that quiche is always a popular lunchtime treat. For quiche in a hurry, filo pastry makes for a tasty shortcut as the ready-made sheets can simply be brushed with butter and layered into your tin with no need for blending, rolling or worrying about a crumbly mess. It's perfect for individual portions such as these peppered mackerel tartlets; baked in muffin tins, they have a crisp, flaky base making them easy to transport, too.
Classic recipes can be updated with new flavours or little tweaks that give them a new lease of life. Top Portuguese custard tarts with rhubarb when in season, go ultra-sticky with a toffee and banana tarte tatin, try a veggie beetroot Wellington for a change from beef, or turn cheese twists into a sweet treat with this recipe for tahini and honey straws.
If you want to stretch your baking skills, pastry is a great place to start. Once you think you have mastered pies and tarts, try these stacked lemon curd custard slices for a real afternoon tea treat. This elegant bake tastes just as good as it looks and offers a new way to use puff pastry.
Pastry can pop up in dishes where you might not expect it. Turn the classic flavours of a seafood supper into a golden, flaky bake with Jamie Oliver's recipe for individual filo fish pies. The pea-spiked mash makes a tasty side so you won't miss the traditional potato topping.
Familiar dishes can be updated by trying out new styles of presentation. Look like a professional baker with this stunning sweet potato, thyme and Parmesan flower tart, where the sweet potato is carefully arranged over the creamy base for an elegant finish. The results are showstopping – but also super simple to achieve.
Baking with pastry doesn't have to mean having cupboards stacked with different sized tins and dishes. Go free-form with galette-style tarts that look best with rugged, rustic edges. Simply lay out the pastry on a baking sheet, add your fillings or toppings and fold the pastry up around the edges. We love this potato and goat's cheese tart made with filo for a savoury option, or this sweet raspberry and marzipan galette with crumbly shortcrust.
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