Balsamic Onion Pastries Recipe

Oh, I love puff pastry. I know I could make it, but I really love having a few boxes of it in the fridge because it makes the whole ‘quick dinner’ thing really easy.

Balsamic Onion Pastries

To make these pastries, cut the raw product into squares, then once the filling is in take the corners and fold them to the centre. Don’t press them down just leave them loose and pop some filling on top. That way the filling is inside and outside. Lovely.

Balsamic Onion Pastries Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A pretty forgiving recipe, and while beginning to end it'll take about an hour, your hands on time is very little, especially if you're using a bought or premade puff pastry.
Recipe type: Snack, Pastry
Serves: 8
  • 1 Portion of puff pastry
  • 600 grams onions
  • 20 grams olive oil
  • 40 grams balsamic vinegar
  • 75 grams brown sugar
  1. Roll out your pastry into a large square
  2. Cut into 8 squares
  3. Peel the onions and chop 3 seconds speed 5
  4. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar
  5. Cook for 30 minutes, Varoma Speed 1 with measuring cup off.
  6. Spoon onto the pastry squares and fold the corners in towards each other. Add a tablespoon of the caramelised onion to the centre of the folded pastry.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180C


Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks Recipe

It’s that time of year where I start thinking about snack box fillers for days out, picnics and camping weekends, and one snack type that we all like is a puff pastry cheese stick. Now, you can buy these pretty cheaply, but they’ve been in a box for weeks and have an almost human-lifespan shelf life, in some cases! They are so quick to make, and they are delicious. Kept in an airtight container they also last well – if you hide them away so no one can eat them, that is.

Cheese Twists

Now, I’d like to be all pious and tell you I made the pastry myself, and for budget reasons, I’d make large batches, but actually when I’m doing quick snacks, bought pastry is perfect. If you buy a roll of pastry, go for the most expensive one you can find. An all-butter pastry is delicious, whereas the cheaper ones with oil can have a bitter after taste.

You can vary and adapt the filling to your heart’s desire. Remember a lot of it will fall out when you’re twisting, so make sure to have a bowl or something you can ‘mess’ into so you can reuse it again.

Tip: It’s also useful to fill and slice the pastry on the tray you’ll put in the oven. It just cuts down on the spillage.
Cheese Twists

For this recipe I’ve used parmesan and smoked paprika. You can also use a combination of herbs, and a melting cheese. Great flavour combinations are:

  • Cheddar and chives
  • Parmesan, rosemary & thyme
  • Cheddar & Onion Salt
  • Parmesan and Smoked Paprika

Puff Pastry Cheese Sticks Recipe
Prep time
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Recipe type: Snacks, Picnic, Lunch box
Serves: 12
  • 1 Roll Puff Pastry
  • 40g Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  1. Roll out puff pastry
  2. In the Thermomix® (or using a cheese grater) finely chop the parmesan (speed 10, 30 seconds) and add the seasoning - in this case smoked paprika. Mix speed 5 for a couple of seconds to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over one half of the puff pastry, then fold the unsprinkled side over the sprinkled side so that it covers itself completely (like folding a page in half, basically!)
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut slits through from one side to the other, about 10 -12 all in.
  5. Take an end in each hand and twist in opposite directions and place on a baking tray.
  6. Bake at 180C for 20 - 30 mins till it's golden brown and delicious


Pastel De Nata – Portuguese Custard Tarts Recipe

Our family had some pretty amazing travel plans for this year, and if things hadn’t gone as  they did, we’d be setting off from Sintra near Lisbon in Portugal roundabout now, for Spain. One of the things I remember from a previous visit to Portugal is Pastel de Nata – Custard Tarts – which are delicious sweet baked custard tarts in a puff pastry shell.Pastel de nata - Portuguese Custard Tarts If you’re a fan of the Nando’s restaurant chain, you may recognise these as one of the only desert options on the menu, but I’ve never been a fan of them! There’s nothing quite like fresh, home made tarts. It just wins out. No surprises there, I suppose.

Pastel de nata - Portuguese Custard Tarts

I’d like to be all holier-than-though, but I actually bought this puff pastry, because as Lorraine Pascale, James Martin and Jamie Oliver all say – there’s no reason not to! Especially if you buy the all butter pastry. It’s about £1 more than the ‘normal’ one, but it’s so much better, with a much nicer taste and no bitter aftertaste. It’s well worth paying that bit extra.

If you are going to make it, have a look at this easy puff pastry recipe from Jane at Why Is There Air?

Pastel de nata - Portuguese Custard Tarts

Sprinkle the icing sugar before you’re going to serve, as it will be absorbed and you won’t see it and if you keep adding sugar it becomes terribly sweet. My five year old was the icing sugar distributor in these photos and she was, shall we say, liberal in her application 😉

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Portuguese Custard Tarts Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The cooking time here does not include the cooling time once the custard is cooked before it is baked. Add at least another 30 - 50 minutes depending on your temperature. If you cover the custard with plastic while it's cooling it shouldn't form a skin, but if it does just mix it up - you won't notice it in the final product.
Recipe type: Desert
Cuisine: Portuguese, European
Serves: 12 pies
  • 115g White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 10g Cornflour
  • 400g Full Fat Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 300g All Butter Puff Pastry
Thermomix® Recipe
  1. Weigh out the milk and set aside.
  2. Place the white sugar into the Thermomix® Bowl and mix at Speed 5 / 10 Seconds
  3. Add one egg and two yolks to the bowl. (don't bang against the Thermomix® bowl as that tends to upset the scales)
  4. Add 10g cornflour and mix it all together, Speed 5 / 2 Seconds
  5. Set the Thermomix® to 90C/Speed 5/ 7 minutes and start it running
  6. Add the milk slowly in a steady stream - it should take about 30 seconds to add.
  7. When it's finished, add the vanilla extract and do a quick speed 5/ 1 second to mix it in.
  8. Remove the lid and leave to cool.
  9. If you're making the pastry, now's a good time to do that. Role out the pastry and use a cutter to cut 12 circles big enough to cover your muffin pans.
  10. Spray the pans, add the pastry and press down to make the 'cases'.
  11. Once the custard is cooled all the way down, heat the oven to about 180C
  12. Add a tablespoon or two of the custard to each muffin case - don't fill it all the way to the top.
  13. Cook for 20 - 25 minutes. The custard will puff up and look pillowy and like it's going to overflow but when you take it out of the oven it'll collapse down again.
  14. Bake until the tops are brown - I don't like them blackened, but I'll leave it to your personal preferences on that.
  15. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down thoroughly. They can be eaten warm, but are just as delicious cold.
  16. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.