These little pastries are enormously moreish, originally meant for breakfast or brunch but I see them disappear from the tray at all times of day.
But I have some excuses to make. The pastry is Rugelach – a Jewish pastry of Ashkenazy origin, made from just three ingredients and traditionally filled with spices, marzipan, raisins, nuts, jam or preserves, chocolate or poppy seed filling. Absolutely adorable dough – fiendishly easy to make, keeps in the fridge for a few days if you can’t get round to filling it immediately, can be frozen, and tastes like a cross between puff and shortcrust.
I fell in love with it at first rolling out and did initially fill it comme-il-faut, with sweet stuff. But since it’s not itself sweetened, I decided to hijack it for savoury bites. It will be most often cheese biscuits, beloved in my house – pastry rolled out and covered with grated cheese and then rolled into little twisty cigars, hotchpotch manner as it’s not important to hold the cheese in but the opposite – house it only for as long as hot oven will allow and then give up and let rip, lace of cheese around the biscuits scorching beautifully.
And now I’ve made a step further – in the wrong direction, as many will say – and filled the pastry with ham and cheese. Typical shiksa. I do hope to be forgiven. It’s all because the dough is so gorgeous and versatile.