In my house, we love butter. This traditional food is wholesome in many ways, naturally trans-fat free and is nourishing to the digestive tract. If you are concerned about too much cholesterol, coconut oil makes a great alternative. It is naturally cholesterol free, providing a number of medicinal properties being researched to do with weight loss. Like butter, it is solid at room temperature so it can be used in this savory pastry recipe.
- 1/2 stick butter or coconut oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup or more cold water
- 1 1/4 cup unbleached pastry flour plus extra for rolling
- 3 Tbs dried sage, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- One large onion sliced
- Handful of shitake mushrooms plus
- 2 portabella mushrooms (or 3 cups of white mushrooms)
- 1/2 cup unripe goat or feta cheese
- 2 Tbs coconut oil/butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- Handful of fresh tarragon herb chopped
Making pastry is easy and homemade dough cuts down on sugar, salt, and preservatives and fat. Butter and flour are best stored in the freezer until ready to use. First make the filling, cooking onions, mushrooms and salt in coconut oil or butter in a saucepan. Cook at medium/low with a lid on until the onions are sweet, adding a little water to prevent burning. Set aside to make pastry. When pastry is ready, add tarragon and feta cheese before filling.
To make the pastry, have a clean surface ready, a rolling pin (or wine bottle), mixing bowl, and clean hands. Time to get dirty! Sieve the flour into the bowl saving some for the rolling. Add salt, baking powder, and dried sage. Next, chop or grate the butter in, (or spoon in coconut oil) using your fingers to squish the butter into the flour. Add water, a teaspoon at a time, until you are able to form a large mass. Work the dough in the bowl for maybe a minute.
Next comes the rolling. Separate about 1/3 of the dough and form it into a ball. Begin rolling on a well floured surface, rolling from the center of the ball out and rotating with each stroke until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Butter a muffin tray and choose a cutter that will fit in the cups so that the pastry comes up the walls of the cups. Preheat oven to 350, and prebake the tarts until they begin to sizzle (maybe 4-6 minutes). Then add the filling and bake until cheese is golden brown. Allow to cool before removing with a knife.
This recipe yields one dozen tarts.
Sea salt comes in many forms. I recommend the kind that has color to it, rather than the white salt because this natural color comes with trace minerals otherwise removed.
Freshly ground flour makes for the best tasting and most nutritious recipe. The oils from whole grain flour will begin to go rancid within 72 hours of grinding. To make pastry flour, take freshly ground whole grain flour and sieve though fine metal, removing the bran. Pastry can be served alongside Christmas dinner or used as a wholesome appetizer.
Aaron Ander is a holistic health care consultant and educator with a background in nutrition, iridology, reiki, biochemistry, and muscle testing. With many personal health challenges as a child, Aaron struggled his way to good health and overcame disease using natural means alone. This success led to a diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition and a relentless pursuit of the roots of illness. He has visited and lived on organic farms in an effort to understand what constitutes a truly holistic life. Aaron currently lives with family in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, where he writes articles for the holistic health community and has a healing practice. To contact Aaron please visit www.naturalpathhealing.com.