This month Food of the World is going to Malta. Malta is an island nation in southern Europe and one of the smallest nations in the world. The capital is Valletta. When this month’s country was decided, Mirelle had forwarded us a copy of few Maltese recipes. This potato qassatat is one of them. Qassatat is a round savory pastry or a mini pie where the filling is uncovered. My filling was good but the cover or the pastry was a little dry. When warm, the qassatat was fine but as it cooled, I felt the cover was dry. I am going to try these qassatats again with a different pastry dough. The recipe had called for margarine or lard and I used 1/2 butter and 1/2 vegetable oil.
Baking Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Yields: 12 – 16 Qassatats
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour
- ¾ tsp. Baking Powder
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
- ¼ – ½ cup cold or ice Water (I used little less than ½ cups water)
- Microwave butter for 20 – 30 seconds to melt it. You can also use butter at room temperature and in which case, need not melt the butter. To the same bowl, add oil and keep aside.
- In a bowl take flour, add baking powder, salt and mix or sift the flour.
- Add butter + oil to flour and rub it in until light crumbles form.
- Add ice cold water and make a dough. Dough should not be very soft. Divide the dough into two balls and cover the balls with cling wrap or cover the bowl with the wrap. I covered the bowl with wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before using it.
- This dough yields at least 14 qassatat. This dough can be wrapped tightly in a plastic wrap and frozen until needed. Thaw the dough before rolling it out.
2 medium sized Potatoes
¼ cup (approx..) fresh English Peas or Fava Beans
½ tbsp. Butter
¼ tsp. Black Pepper Powder
½ tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Cumin Powder
- Peel and cut potatoes into small pieces and boil the potatoes until cooked.
- Remove from water, cool and refrigerate for 15 – 20 minutes. Recipe called for refrigerating the potatoes and hence I did. I felt this step can be skipped.
- Cook peas in water for 5-10 minutes until cooked. Drain the peas and keep aside until needed.
- When ready to make the qassatat, mash the potatoes with butter, salt, black pepper and cumin until soft. I put it in a food processor until potatoes are soft and all the ingredients are well mixed. Potatoes will come together and form a smooth ball.
- Remove potatoes from the food processor, add cooked peas and mix.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Grease a baking/cookie sheet and lightly dust it with flour. I sprayed the tray with pam cooking spray and did not dust it with flour.
- Take out the qassatat dough. I actually took it out 10 – 15 minutes before I rolled the dough. Roll out each ball as thin as you can. I rolled it into 9” circle. If possible make it even thinner.
- Using a biscuit cutter cut the rolled dough into 6 circles. I pulled gather all the scrapes and rolled it again and got one more 3” circle out of it.
- Place about 1 tbsp. of potato filling in the center of each 3” circle. Gather the edges of the circle towards the center, leaving the filling uncovered.
- Place the qassatat on the baking sheet and do the same with remaining circles.
- Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until qassatat turn golden brown. I baked for 30 minutes. While the qassatat bakes, the filing will puff up.
- Serve warm or cold.
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