I made impromptu puff pastry. I say impromptu because it is not like the traditional puff pastry, nor the shortcut puff pastry that you sometimes find. I had leftover dumpling dough. I made green onion pancakes and onion pie. Traditional puff pastry uses a butter enriched dough and my dumpling dough is just flour and water. I did make a butter block and ended up doing four “turns” with the dough.
The result differs from the usual puff pastry. It isn’t as tender because of the lack of butter in the dough and probably because I was too impatient to let the dough rest for a longer period in between each “turn”. It isn’t as high as the traditional puff but was very flaky. Not a bad result for all my impatience and shortcuts. Just use frozen puff pastry if you don’t want to pitch in an afternoon of rolling and folding dough.
Now, the onions. It’s the best part of the pie. No question about it. I have no had onions for a while. Don’t know why, just didn’t pick them up at the store for a few months. I missed them. I really did. All the tears that come with cutting them and (almost) the bad breath that comes with eating them. Certainly the smell that comes with cooking them. My eyes have always been sensitive to onions. I almost always cry. None of the methods recommended on the internet or by people I know have prevented my tears. I’d long since given up on it. These days I just let it all out. Onions are just so…so…beautiful.
Don’t rush when you cook the sliced onions. Use low heat. Cover the pan. Stir. Let the aroma float up and out of the pan and fill your house. I realize that this might not be welcomed by all so maybe pick a time to make these when no one’s home. Enjoy your time alone and think about what’s on your mind. Channel any sadness and stress away through the bite and bitterness of the onions while slicing them. Then focus on what can be changed while you slowly caramelize those onions. As you bring out the sweetness of the onions, realize that your life is just so much sweeter when you can meditate on the aroma of onions.
Onions heal. Just try it.
Onion Lattice Pie
makes 4 pies
Homemade puff pastry, enough to roll into a 10 by 12 inch rectangle, 1/8 inch thick or 1 sheet frozen ready-made puff pastry, defrosted
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cover the pan. Cook over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until very soft and mushy. Stir every once in a while, be careful not to let it burn. Add salt and pepper to taste. So simple. So sweet. So good.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry and trim the edges. Cut into eight rectangles, measuring 5 by 3 inches. Fold four of the rectangles hot dog style, or vertically, and cut slits along the folded edge in 1/2 inch intervals. Do not cut all the way through. unfold the rectangles. Spoon the onion filling onto the four uncut rectangles, leaving a border around the filling. Cover with the cut rectangles. Press and seal the edges with a fork.
Transfer pies to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and is golden brown. Serve warm.
I twisted the trimmings from the puff pastry and baked them.