This year I haven’t managed to skip all the Christmas Parties I was invited to. The original plan was to provide the same old excuse to decline the invites but eventually – might be because I don’t know how long I’m going to be in London and that made me more conscious about the time I can spend with friends – I said yes, I’d love to join the party and bring along some food and wine (If I really have to…).
I wanted to cook something suitable for a low-fuss buffet style dinner and great for sharing. I opted for these delicious pies with my version of the classic spinach and ricotta filling. Let’s put mincemeat pie aside for a moment. Here we have some good spinach, the high in vitamin C, zinc and potassium green that human beings usually appreciate more when they leave their twenties behind.
Back to the party. I did not want to spend all day cooking. However, I had not intention to bring ready-made meals. So I took a shortcut by using a store bought shortcrust pastry. I can make the mini pies in no time now, I thought. You know what? I ended up spending all day in the kitchen. Rolling the pastry and shaping it into cups revealed to be no easy task. Next time this recipe will make a comeback in my kitchen, I will probably go for a less time consuming shape. A slab pie to cut in squares to get single servings, would account for a great appetizer too (even if not as cute as these cups). Most importantly, it will save me lots of time!
Now tell me, what’s your favorite low-fuss party food?
Spinach Ricotta Mini Pies
- 1 lb spinach leaves
- 500 gr cups ricotta
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
For the egg wash:
- 1 large egg yolk leftover from filling
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Wash spinach in cold running water.
- Drain and squeeze out excess water and roughly chop. Blend in a blender together with half ricotta.
- In a large bowl, combine to the rest of ricotta and mix thoroughly. Add salt, Parmesan cheese and cheddar.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle and cut out circles out of the pastry by pressing into it the border of a glass (use a 4-inch round cookie cutter, if you have it).
- Press each circle into the bottom of a greased cupcake tin for the bottom of the pie crust. Repeat with remaining dough until 16-18 muffin tins are filled.
- If some pastry will hang over the sides of the tin, just trim the borders with a knife.
- Spoon the filling into the tins and cover with a traditional crust tops you obtain by cutting out small circles from the remaining pastry.
- Brush each pie crust with the egg wash (egg yolk mixed with milk). Chill in fridge for at least half an hour.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.