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Vol-au-vents with Tomato-Feta Filling

Dinah Bucholz
Mrs. Weasley is really an amazing cook. To prepare all the food for her son's wedding, especially such elegant, classy savories as vol-au-vents, is just simply, well, impressive, to say the least (see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 6).
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 7 hrs 35 mins
Course Appetizers
Cuisine French
Servings 12 vol-au-vents

Ingredients
  

Butter Block

  • 3 sticks butter cubed, cold
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Dough

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 stick butter 1/4" dice, cold
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Tomato-Feta Filling

  • 5 oz. feta cheese 1/4" dice
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced in half, length-wise
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. basil dried
  • 1 pinch salt
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions
 

Butter Block

  • Combine butter, lemon juice, and flour. Mix by hand and knead briefly until uniform.
  • Form into a square and place between two sheets of parchment paper.
  • Roll out butter to a 7-inch square. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Dough

  • Whisk together flour and salt. Add butter and rub it in with your fingers until the mixture becomes mealy.
  • Add water and lemon juice. Knead briefly until a rough dough forms.
  • Shape dough into a ball, flatten slightly, and cut a cross halfway through the dough almost to the edges with a sharp knife. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Puff Pastry

  • Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a flour-dusted surface. Pull the edges of the cross open from the center of the dough to create a rough square. Dust flour on top and roll dough to 11-inches square.
  • Remove butter block from refrigerator and peel off parchment paper. Place block onto dough at angle so the corners point to the center of dough sides. Bring the dough up over the butter and pinch the seams together.
  • First Turn: Roll dough/butter out to a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Turns Two–Five: Remove dough from refrigerator and lay horizontally on a flour-dusted work surface. Roll out to a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Fold the rectangle into thirds like a business letter as before. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Repeat until a total of 5 turns have been completed.
  • To make pastry cases, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut off 2/3 of the dough and roll it out 1/2-inch thick on a floured surface.
  • Use a 3 1/2-inch round cutter to cut out twelve dough circles. Use a 3-inch cutter to cut out centers, making thin rings. Set the rings aside on a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Roll out the remaining centers one by one very thin (use flour as needed). Use the 3 1/2-inch cutters to cut out new circles from the rolled-out centers. Prick holes in these circles with a fork and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, six circles to a sheet.
  • Brush edges with water and carefully attach rings to the edges to form cases. Refrigerate the cases for 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Remove one baking sheet from the refrigerator and line inside each case with small pieces of aluminum foil. Fill foil with beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and bake another 20 minutes until the dough is set. Remove the foil and weights and bake another 3–5 minutes until light golden brown.
  • Raise the heat to 400°F and repeat with the second sheet.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Tomato-Feta Filling

  • To make the tomato-feta filling, combine all ingredients.
  • Spoon filling into prepared shells.

Notes

  • If you intend to make these from scratch, the puff pastry needs to be made at least one day in advance.
  • Forming the pastry cases is fussy work so, to save time, one can use frozen puff pastry shells. Just prepare them according to package directions.
  • See The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook for other filling options.