I often come across readymade vol-au-vent cases in the supermarket and told myself to attempt to make them one day. I chanced upon an easy instruction for making them the other day while browsing through a cookbook by Manu Feildel and decided that my one day has finally come!
Instead of using ham and mushroom filling as mentioned in his recipe since I didn't happen to have any in my fridge, I decided to make my own filling using prawn, crabmeat & avocados. And the result was simply ..... to die for! (sorry for stealing your favourite quote, Manu!)
They look so dainty, tempting and delicious I had to stop my girl from devouring them before I took some good pics. Sorry sweetie, but the camera has to take the first bite!
Seafood Vol-Au-Vent with Prawns, Crabmeat & Avocados in White Sauce
2 sheets Puff Pastry, thawed
1 Egg, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Plain flour
1 1/2 cup Milk
Small Prawns (about 24 pcs depending on the size)
3 stick Crabmeat
3 Small Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Oil
Pinch of Salt
Dash of Pepper
1) Using a 7.5cm round fluted cutter, cut out 12 rounds from the pastry sheet. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the tops with beaten egg, then use a round 5.5cm cutter to score an inner circle on each, pressing 3/4 of the way through the pastry, taking care not to press all the way through. Refrigerate for 20 mins or until firm.
2) Preheat oven to 180C.
3) Bake the pastry shells for 20 mins or until light golden. Using a small, sharp knife, cut around the inner circles and remove the second layer of pastry (leave the pastry bases intact), reserving it for later use (using it as pastry "hat").
4) Cut the prawns, crabmeat & avocados into small pieces and set aside.
5) Stir fry the diced onions in oil until fragrant and set aside.
6) To make the creamy white sauce, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour to make a paste. Slowly add milk, lower heat & stir constantly until sauce simmers and thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for a further 1-2 mins until medium-thick consistency.
7) Add in the onion & prawns. Keep stirring until prawns are almost cooked, then add in crabmeats & cook for a further 1 min. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
8) Add avocados to the mixture & spoon into the individual pastry shells. Top each shell with a pastry "hat" (the reserved inner sections) and serve.