I always like to bring you a bit of a party snack for New Year. And this year is no exception.
Macaroni Pies are a Scottish staple where you find them next to steak or mince pies in the supermarket. I call them all ‘Flemings Pies’ as they are often made by a butcher up here with that name. However, Macaroni pies are essentially mac ‘n’ cheese encased in a pastry shell – (it is still before New Year and we are still indulging!).
The regular crust on ‘Flemings pies’ involves lard and flour, which makes a firm casing for the delicious ingredients inside. But for my recipe of mini macaroni pies, I am opting for a shop-bought, ready rolled shortcrust pastry. Unless you have time to knock up a batch of shortcrust yourself of course!
For the filling, I used the smallest macaroni type pasta I could find, which was meant to be used in soup. It was perfect for my mini pies though. And I used the strongest, most mature cheddar I could find for the cheese sauce. You have to be able to taste the mac ‘n’ cheese after all!
I blind baked my pastry in a cupcake tray, each cup weighed down with baking beans. Then I added the cooked mac ‘n’ cheese into the shells, sprinkled with more cheese and baked them just until bubbling.
The result was a delicious miniature combination of crumbly pastry with a rich cheesy pasta filling. Imagine handing these around at your New Year shindig? To gussy them up a bit, I added some chopped spring onion for garnish.
Here’s how I made them;
Yield: 12 mini macaroni pies
I roll of short crust pastry (about 375 grams)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
250 ml milk
125 grams grated mature cheddar
½ teaspoon mustard (I use American yellow)
Black pepper, to taste
125 grams mini macaroni
1 spring onion, shredded for garnish
Preheat the oven to 180C.
With a circular cutter, cut rounds of the pastry, so that it fills a cup in a cupcake tray. You want the pastry to go up the sides of the case. When all twelve have been cut, add foil on top of each bit of pastry and top with baking beans. Cook for 12-15 minutes until the edges of the pastry cups are lightly browned. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the beans and foil. Allow to cool slightly then make sure you can remove the pastry easily from each cup of the tray, then place back in.
To make the mac’n’ cheese, boil the pasta as directed and set aside. In a large saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour. Whisk together for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Add the milk, and keep whisking until the sauce reaches a boil and thickens. Remove from the heat and add the mustard and cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce. Season to taste with black pepper. Add the macaroni and stir this through.
Carefully spoon the mac ‘n’ cheese into the pastry cups and top each with a little more grated cheese. Place back into the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to cool then garnish with some chopped spring O’s.