Serving size: Serves 6
With a savoury filling, vol-au-vents (the name means “puff of wind”) make a popular entree, or, served with salad, they can be a satisfying light lunch. The recipe given here makes 6 cases. Repeat pastry recipe to make 12. Made in smaller size, they’re a good accompaniment to drinks.
375g packet puff pastry
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons plain flour
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
60ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
1/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Filling: Melt butter in pan, add flour, cook few minutes, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in milk, blend until smooth, then stir in wine, cream and mayonnaise. Return to heat, stir over heat until sauce boils and thickens, reduce heat, continue stirring, simmer 2 minutes; stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper.
This is the basic creamy sauce for Filling, sufficient to fill 12 vol-au-vent cases. To this can be added drained canned asparagus, chopped cooked chicken, seafood â€” prawns, oysters, sliced poached scallops, crab, salmon or tuna, etc.
Have pastry at room temperature. Roll on lightly floured surface to rectangle measuring 25cm x 35cm (10in x 14in); make sure corners are kept as square as possible. Pastry should be about 3mm (1/8 in) in thickness and should be the same thickness all over. Using sharp cutter measuring 5.5cm (2 1/4 in) in diameter, cut out six rounds on half the pastry; as shown, leave space around each circle of pastry to cut larger rounds as shown in Step 2. Brush uncut half of pastry lightly with water.
Fold pastry in half, as shown; pastry with cut rounds is now on top of uncut pastry. Use sharp cutter measuring 7.5cm (3in) in diameter to cut out larger rounds around the circles; be sure to centralise large cutter around smaller circles, before cutting through the two layers of pastry. Lift each vol-au-vent shape onto oven tray, refrigerate overnight. This is important, it helps vol-au-vent cases keep their good round shape when baked. Glaze around top rims with beaten egg yolk; make sure it does not run over sides or pastry will not rise.
Suspend a wire rack over the vol-au-vent cases; rack will need to be 3cm (1 1/4 in) higher than the, baking tray. Use two cutters to support the wire rack. This rack helps the vol-au-vents keep their shape when they rise in the oven, and not topple to one side. Bake at 240Â°C for 5 minutes, reduce heat to moderate, bake further 5 minutes, remove wire rack. Continue to bake up to another 5 minutes at moderate temperature, or until pastry is well browned. Remove cases to wire rack to cool. Store cases, when cold, in airtight container. To serve, fill with desired Filling, place on oven tray, reheat in moderate oven, uncovered, for 10 minutes.