Friday, April 07, 2017


These little canapés are bursting with flavour. Fresh ripe tomatoes, basil, and rich buffalo mozzarella cheese in a golden flaky pastry, almost reminiscent of puff pastry. An excellent finger food or any gathering, for sure. If tomatoes are in season, use the fresh ones, they have much more flavour than the canned ones.
But, if there are not any fresh tomatoes available for you, you can use the ones from a can, just make sure to strain them really well, because otherwise you can end up with too much liquid in the filling. Ideally, use fresh buffalo mozzarella, as well as fresh Ricotta cheese, for the maximum richness of the dough, and of the filling. If you wish, you can even use extra virgin olive oil, it can only make these golden parcels even tastier.

For the pastries
200 grams plain flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
150 grams Ricotta
150 grams butter, softened
For the filling
150 grams tomatoes, peeled and seeded
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 teaspoons cornflour (corn starch)
3 tablespoons water
100 grams buffalo mozzarella, torn finely

First make the Caprese filling, because it is a cooked filling, and it will take some time to cool down. Peel the tomatoes, and remove as much of the seeds as possible, then dice them. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the tomatoes and cook for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, and the tomatoes have cooked down. Add the seasoning, and be careful not to add too much salt. Finally, take a small bowl and mix together the cornflour and cold water; add it to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Remove it from the heat and let it cool down, then add the finely torn buffalo mozzarella, and mix gently. This way, there will still be some tiny pieces of mozzarella not fully melted after baking. Set the filling aside.
For the pastry, take a large bowl and beat the softened butter with the Ricotta, with an electric mixer on high, until well blended. Gradually sift in the flour and the baking powder, still beating well with an electric mixer on low, after each addition. The dough should be very soft, but not sticky. Sprinkle some flour on the work surface, then roll the dough gently to about 3-4 millimeters. Take a medium (7.5 cm; 3") cookie cutter, and cut out thin rounds of dough. Take the scraps and re-roll them on a floured surface until you make 25 rounds of dough in total. Take a round of dough and place a small portion of the filling in the centre, then fold the dough circle in half and pinch it to seal it well. Repeat with all of the dough rounds. Arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 200°C (400°F), for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Yields 25 pastries.