Davie's Cheese Pastry

I can't sing the praises of this recipe enough! Cut into 6 pieces, it makes a splendid appetizer for 6 diners (or cut in 4 for 4 ecstatic piggies!). Cut into 12 or so pieces, it's a great hors d'oeuvre.

The construction comes from my college friend, Davie Lindquist, she of the bread-making. She used a different pastry recipe (maybe even Julia Child's), but I have always used Peg Bracken's. Peg was a humor writer and wrote the "I Hate to Cook Cookbook;" a predecessor to Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. Anyway Peg's recipe is real easy to make, is always a success, and easy to remember. Can't beat that with a stick! My mom, my sister, both my grandmothers, my aunt, and nearly everyone else in the world makes better pie crust than I do, but this is reliable - - and after you doctor it up, who cares? (My sister can make pie crust with 1 T water. Wow!)

Peg Bracken's Pie Pastry

The magic ratio: 4:2:1 flour:shortening:ice water

Told you it was easy! Cut shortening into the flour and add the water all in a glump. Stir. Roll out on floured board.

I throw in 1/2 t salt (and 1 t baking powder because Mama told me to do this).

For cheese pastry (or a one-crust pie or a quiche) use 1 c flour, 1/2 c shortening (or oleo) and 1/4 c ice water with the 1/2 t salt and 1 t baking powder.

Davie's Cheese Pastry

To make the pastry, roll out the pastry into a rectangle. If there are any parts that are "way off," trim up with a knife. Piece onto vacant spots (using a little water for glue) or save for sugar crust.

Gather shredded Swiss or mozzarella cheese. About 2 c.

Also 1 c grated parmesan cheese. (I use the Kraft's stuff. I don't recommend "house brand" parmesans to save money; these are awful. And I wouldn't use parmesano reggiano here; save it for something where the exact flavor will come through unless you mucho money in your cheese budget!)

Although it's a small point after this much fat, you also can put pieces of butter/oleo in the filling, but I don't. Really not needed.

Now imagine a business letter, the kind you fold in thirds to get in the envelope. The letter is in front of you with the long dimension running left-to-right. Place 1/2 the cheese in the middle third of the "letter." Top this with 1/2 the parmesan. (Dot with butter/oleo at this point if you wish.)

Fold one empty third of the pastry over the center. Repeat with the rest of the cheese and parmesan (and butter dots).

Seal pastry very well along edges to cheese doesn't leak out. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes. Watch.

Serve warm. By the time you cut and serve, cheese probably will not be too hot to cause burns, but warn your guests (especially if they are of the piggie variety!).

You make these ahead and freeze in the raw state. Place on a cookie sheet to keep them flat and wrap air-tight when they're frozen. Best if you thaw first before baking, but you can wing it with a frozen one if you watch carefully.


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