These really are delicious. Unfortunately I didn’t get much as Peter polished off a couple and then Zoe ate not only hers, but most of mine, too!
I’ve used a lot of water in the pastry mixture because this makes it much easier to process it in a food processor, but it also means that it is malleable enough to work with it when you’re folding the pastry. If it’s fairly dry (like traditional pastry made with gluten) it will crack. Plus it cooks better when you add more liquid – without catching or burning. You’ll find it very sticky, but bear with me!
Spinach is an amazing food to cook with. It’s delicious, packed with nutrients (it contains 13 different antioxidants, it’s rich in lutein which helps to guard against eye disease and is bursting with calcium, magnesium and vitamin K) and it has a great texture when cooked – perfect for these pastries.
gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, seed-free, citrus-free
- 120g/4¼oz/¾ cup rice flour
- 120g/4¼oz/1¼ cups gram flour
- 60g/2¼oz/scant ½ cup buckwheat flour
- 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
- ½ tsp dried active yeast
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp crushed sea salt
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 500g/1lb 2 oz baby spinach, thoroughly washed
- 3 tbsp sultanas
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 100g soya cheese, grated or crumbled
- ½ tsp allspice
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- To make the pastry, sift the flours, yeast, xanthan gum and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups warm water and process for 10 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be very sticky!
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, put the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and dry-fry for a 2–3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts have turned golden brown. Remove and leave to one side.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the garlic. Fry for about 30 seconds then add the spinach leaves, working in batches if necessary. Cook the spinach for 2–3 minutes until wilted. Remove and put into a fine sieve. Using the back of a metal spoon, push any excess liquid through. (Don’t discard the liquid, though, as it’s full of vitamins – drink it, instead!)
- Mix together the pine nuts, spinach, garlic and the sultanas and allspice and season lightly.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and put a sheet of baking paper onto a baking sheet. Liberally dust a large chopping board with rice flour. Transfer the dough to the board and roll it round gently, so that it can absorb enough rice flour for you to be able to work with it, sprinkling more rice flour onto the board whenever you need it. You want it to be dry enough that it won’t stick to the board. Divide the dough into quarters and gently roll out a piece of pastry to a rectangular shape, about 5mm/¼in thick. Working quickly, put a quarter of the mixture in a wide line in the middle of the pastry and cover with a quarter of the soya cheese. Turn the ends of the pastry up and then fold the sides over, making sure that the last side folds over the first side slightly. Turn the pastry over carefully, using a metal spatula to pick it up from the chopping board if you need to. Place on the baking paper and repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Serve either hot or cold.