Sweet Potato Pastry Kites
Sometimes watching too many episodes of The Great British Bake-off will really take you places you never thought you’d go. I’m currently following along with the latest season on Netflix (Peter and Hermine are my favs), but just one episode a week isn’t cutting it. So I went back to the first season available on Netflix and started watching them all over again. And that, my dear reader, is where I got the idea for these pastry kites.
Nancy from British series 4 (American season 1) did some amazing pastry kites during a challenge that I immediately wanted to replicate. The kite shape was something that seemed fun to try, and it seemed like a good way to challenge myself. I wanted to make a pastry that was savory instead of just sweet, and I had some sweet potatoes on hand, so I figured I’d give them a shot. Red onions always go well with sweet potatoes, as well as crumbly cheese. I didn’t have goat’s cheese, but feta did just the trick. Add some balsamic, and I created my dream cool weather treat!
I don’t have much experience with pastry. I have made a pie crust before, and I have made pastry for my Pastéis de Nata, but that’s the extent of my pastry knowledge. As these take a little bit of prep, I wanted to make sure that you weren’t spending all day rolling out pastry dough. So I recommend using shop-bought frozen dough. It’s ok to commit this little sin – I suggested it in my very first blog post, Joanna Gaines’ Apple Pie, and it’s my most popular post to date, so you won’t be the only one using it! What energy you save in your dough you can put into your filling. Use fresh sweet potatoes, bursting with color and nutrients. Use your favorite crumbly cheese with rich, salty flavor. Get a good quality balsamic vinegar that perfectly marries tart and sweet. By the time you finish putting it all together, no one will ever know or care that your pastry isn’t homemade!
It can be hard to eat colorfully in the fall and winter, but this goes to show that you can get colors (and nutrients) into your routine just as easily as you can in the summer. The vibrant orange and purple of the potatoes and onions are a delight for your eyes, and really help your body as well. Though I took these healthy ingredients and stuck them in a pastry, it’s at least healthier than the sweeter varieties. Give these a shot as a precursor for dinner one night, or as an appetizer for your socially-distanced holiday celebrations. Your family or guests will be wowed by something that they probably haven’t had before, and you get the satisfaction of giving your loved ones something delicious. Winners all around.
I hope you enjoy this slightly different take on a pastry by using it as an appetizer instead of a dessert. It’s a great way to bring some color to a fall or winter spread, and can wake up the monotonous routine of weeknight dinners. Let me know if you try any other fillings – I’m always willing to experiment! Until next time, here’s to good drinking, great eating, and even better living.
Sweet Potato Pastry Kites
- Pastry or basting brush
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (sliced thinly)
- 1/2 small red onion (sliced into strips)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 egg (beaten – for an egg wash)
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough (thawed)
- Preheat your oven to 450°F. Toss the sweet potatoes and red onion slices in the oil and seasonings and lay on a thin layer on a roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool before adding to the pastry. Turn the oven down to 400°F when finished.
- While the potatoes and onions roast, prepare your dough. Roll out and cut into 9 squares. Turn the squares so that they are diamonds, and use the tip of a sharp knife to cut about 1/4 inch in from the outside of the dough, starting at the top point and ending at the bottom (see photo in post for reference). Don't fully cut through the top or bottom points. Place the diamonds back in the fridge to chill while you wait for your potatoes and onions to cool.
- When everything is cool, place potatoes and onions in the middle of each diamond. Take the left and right points of the diamond and cross them over each other so that they form a ridge of dough around the filling. Remember, we left the top and bottom points connected? There should be a twist there (see photos in post for reference). Add feta cheese to each kite (tucking it around the filling so it doesn't burn when exposed to heat) and brush the filling with balsamic vinegar. Then brush the pastry with beaten egg before placing in the oven.
- Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, until pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool a little before serving, but serve warm while the pastry is crisp. These are best enjoyed immediately, but will keep wrapped on the countertop for up to two days. To reheat, warm in an oven (microwaves and pastry do not mix). Enjoy!