Perfect Party Starter: Vol-Au-Vents

A bite-size morsel of crispy puff pastry, which gives way to a delicious sweet or savoury centre, is a simple but suitably special way to keep Christmas guests happy.


Makes 8

 Tip: Keep the puff pastry as cold as possible while working with it. Gently tap the edges of the pastry with a spoon to make the leaves of pastry puff up.

8 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
beaten egg for glazing

Preheat oven to 220°C. Line 2 flat baking trays with baking paper.

Lay 4 sheets puff pastry on a work surface. Using a 10cm round cutter, cut 4 circles out of each sheet of pastry. Transfer 8 circles to the baking trays. Use a 6.5cm round cutter to cut the centres out of the remaining 8 circles. Discard this pastry or save for another use.

Brush circles with beaten egg and place rings on top of each. Brush tops of rings with egg. With the dull edge of paring knife, make shallow, angled cuts along outside edges to aerate dough so it puffs when cooked. Carve shallow circles into the bases along inside edges of the rings.

Chill trays for 20 minutes. Bake in oven until golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Spoon in the filling as listed below.

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