Piroshki

Piroshki (pee-rosh-kee) are little pies from Eastern Europe made with rich pastry and filled with numerous savoury fillings. They are usually served with soup such as Borscht and also make delicious appetizers.

12 oz. flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter

1 oz. cream cheese

1 tablespoons iced water

2 fl. oz. double cream

2 oz. butter

1 onion, finely chopped

8 oz. minced veal

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped

1 egg

1 teaspoon water

First make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the 4 ounces of butter and the cream cheese and cut them into small pieces with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter and cream cheese into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add

1 tablespoon of iced water and, using the knife, mix it into the flour mixture. Add the cream and repeat the process. With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. If the dough is too dry, add the remaining water. Roll the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown.

Add the veal, mushrooms, salt, pepper and paprika and cook for 15 minutes, or until the meat is evenly browned and well cooked.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the parsley, sour cream and chopped egg. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C). With the remaining teaspoon of butter, grease a large baking sheet. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrig-erator and turn it out on to a lightly floured board. Roll out the dough to about g-inch thick. With a 3-inch pastry cutter, cut the dough into circles.

Place one teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each circle.

In a cup, combine the egg and the water for the glaze. Moisten the edges of the dough circles with this mixture. Fold the dough over the fillings to form semi-circles and seal the edges by pressing them together with a fork. Place the semi- circles on the baking sheet and brush them all over with the remaining egg glaze.

Place the piroshki in the oven and bake them for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and serve the piroshki at once if you are serving them hot. Set them aside to cool on a wire rack if they are to be served cold.

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