I love sweet and savoury twists on recipes, even on meat. This cookie like concoction is actually sweet pastries filled with char siu pork. They are just exceedingly delicious. The pastry is a crumbly and crisp sweet shortcrust and that goes so well with the pork filling. I found this recipe in one of my favourite books of Cecilia J. Au Yang entitled Chopsticks Recipes_Dim Sum. Although her filling had other ingredients mixed in with the pork, I chose to use pure pork char siu to make it like the char siu puffs in dim sum restaurants. If you don't have char siu on hand, good quality bacon and ham can be used instead.
The recipe is a brilliant combination of textures. The pastry is cooked at a low temperature which makes it crisp even with a moist filling. What can be better than a cookie with a pork center?
2 c. of flour
1/3 c. chilled butter
1/3 c. of vegetable shortening (or lard)
1/4 c. sugar
2 tbsps. of cold water
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
egg yolk for glazing
Preheat the oven to 300° F/150° C.
Put the flour, butter, shortening (or lard) and sugar in a food processor and blitz until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the 2 tbsps. of water and pulse until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
Wrap the ball of pastry in a sheet of cling film and refrigerate for about an hour or until firm enough to handle.
Cut the pastry into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a log and divide each log into eight pieces. Roll one portion into a ball and make a bowl shape using your thumb. Fill with a generous spoonful of filling. Pinch the edges to close. Put the ball seal side down and gently flatten with a rolling pin. Don't worry about the cracks. The slightly cracked look is actually what we are going for.
Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange in a single layer on a lined cookie sheet bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and crisp.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 c. of chopped char siu pork
1 tbsps. sugar
1/4 c. water
1-1/2 tsp. of corn flour
2 tsps. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
Put all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and mix together. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer while stirring until thick. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
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