Thank goodness for ready-made puff pastry. Forget wasting hours in the kitchen kneading away Mrs Beeton-style! These cute pies will have everyone talking and they can be prepped a day before the party, up until the eggwash stage.
you will need:
- 25g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 25g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 600ml semi-skimmed milk
- 3 cooked chicken breasts, diced
- 198g can sweetcorn, drained
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 320g ready-rolled puff pastry sheet
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 10 black olives
- peas or Little Gem lettuce, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Grease ten standardsized ramekins and set aside. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat. Stir in the flour and mix until combined. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the milk to create a smooth paste. Return the pan to the heat and using a hand whisk, stir the mixture constantly to prevent any lumps. Once the sauce has thickened (this will take a good 5 minutes) and is smooth and bubbling, remove from the heat.
Add the diced chicken breast, sweetcorn and salt and pepper to the white sauce and mix together.
Unwrap the pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface. Cut out ten 8cm circles and ten 2.5cm circles using a pastry cutter, followed by 20 triangles with sides of 1.5cm.
Place 2 large heaped tablespoons of the chicken mixture into a ramekin and top with the large pastry circle. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and place the small circle onto the centre of the large circle and two triangles per ramekin for the pig’s ears. Re-brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg.
Make two holes through the small circle, which will let the steam leave the pie and also create the pig’s nostrils.
Place the ramekins on a large baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and risen.
Just before serving, halve the olives and place two halves on the pig’s face to make eyes. Place each ramekin on a plate and surround with garden peas or Little Gem lettuce and serve hot.
Hats & Bells Children’s Party Cookbook by Haty Stead & Annabel Waley-Cohen. Published by Kyle Books, £18.99. Photography: Jemma Watts