Saturday, 12 May 2018

Puff Pastry Party Bites - gluten free : #FreeFromParty

These gluten free Puff Pastry Party Bites are made to mark Coeliac Awareness Week which takes place this week - 14th to 20th May 2018. Facilitated by Coeliac UK, it takes place each year in May, highlighting important issues facing the Coeliac community. This year marks a special anniversary however, with Coeliac UK having reached a milestone of 50 years since its foundation in 1968 (when it was known as The Coeliac Society).

Since then it has gone from strength to strength, campaigning for and supporting everything from medical research and public and professional awareness of the condition, to prescription services, mentoring, food labelling, coeliac-safe restaurants, training for chefs and supermarkets committed to stocking gluten free staples.

I have written earlier posts on Coeliac Disease during previous awareness weeks which you can read here, here and here, although fundamentally it is an autoimmune condition which affects about 1 in a hundred people, making them very unwell if they eat gluten and thus there is a need for sufferers to avoid eating any gluten for life.

Coeliac seems to have a public face of being quite a modern 'condition' (in our house we don't like to call it a 'disease', as we aim to be positive both in how we view being Coeliac and on how we approach being gluten free in a non gluten free world). Modern however, it is not. I grew up with my Dad being Coeliac in a time when far less was known about how and why it affected the body or why a gluten free diet was essential to staying well.

I would never have known that gluten was relevant as a child.... Dad ate everything.... normal wheat bread, pasta, cakes and pastry... in fact anything and everything that we now know to avoid. I am not sure whether this was because the medical world did not share with him the importance of avoiding gluten (he had been diagnosed very young as a pre-war child, when people believed that bananas were an appropriate treatment), or because he just wanted to fit in with family life. He was always painfully thin, but suffered silently. Either way, his glutenous neglect most likely killed him at the very young age of 52 (the same age I am now) from cancer which was probably triggered by the 'untreated' Coeliac.

I am so grateful for organisations like Coeliac UK. Their awareness-raising is massively important. Coeliac is notoriously under-diagnosed and if their campaigns improve public awareness of symptoms and encourage GPs and consultants to think about the possibility of Coeliac alongside their explorations for other stomach and bowel complaints, less people may suffer and lives may be saved.

Miss GF lives in a very different world to her grandfather..... We are more demanding of health information and exploration, we have the internet at our finger tips and the benefit of a wealth of medical research and knowledge. She is also clear and confident that her need to be gluten free is not a life-style choice, but is a medical necessity.

To mark Coeliac UK's 50 years, this year they are inviting people to celebrate and party to raise funds which will enable them to continue their invaluable research both into better understanding of Coeliac Disease and towards finding a long hoped-for cure. For anyone holding fund-raising parties, picnics and teas, these little morsels of filled puff pastry (made with Silly Yak ready-to-roll gluten free puff pastry) are incredibly easy to put together, can be filled with whatever you like and will be guaranteed to bring a smile (Coeliac or not).

..... I know that from experience..... I made a stash of them and left them in a box in the fridge, only to come home and find they had almost entirely been eaten. Miss GF kindly left a couple for me and her dad, but otherwise devoured the lot! Thank goodness they had already been photographed.

I am sharing my Puff Pastry Party Bites in support of Coeliac Awareness Week with the following....


Cook Blog Share with Recipes Made Easy
Free From Fridays with Le Coin De Mel and Free From Farmhouse
Brilliant Blog Posts with Honest Mum


Baking Crumbs - This month being guest-hosted by Jo's Kitchen Larder on behalf of Only Crumbs Remain
Got To Be Gluten Free with myself and Glutarama
Recipe of the Week with A Mummy Too


Cook Once Eat Twice with Searching for Spice
Fiesta Friday #223 with Angie and The Frugal Hausfrau
That Friday Linky with Twin Mummy & Daddy

I am also offering them as my party treat for this month's #FreeFromParty gathering being put together by the awesome group of bloggers that are the Free From Gang. As and when their posts are published, I will add the links below :

The Original Savoury Summer Upside Down Cake - updated on GFA

Other gluten free party food and ideas on Gluten Free Alchemist :
Mini Quiches
Allergen Labels
No Bake Biscuit Cake
Cheese Scones
Date, Apricot & Coconut Flapjack
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Tart
Chocolate Mini Rolls
GF Oat Bread Flowers
Watermelon Bacardi Cooler
Vanilla Swiss Roll (GF & DF)
Muffin Pizzas (or Pizza Muffins)
Baci di Dama Cookies
Mini Picnic Pies
Battenberg Cake
Raspberry-Lemon Drizzle Cake

Puff Pastry Party Bites


1 pack of ready to roll gluten free puff pastry (I used Silly Yak)
egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little milk)
a little grated cheddar cheese
dried paprika powder
a couple of teaspoons sesame seeds
250g Philadelphia or other preferred cream cheese
sliced cooked ham
sliced smoked salmon
200g houmous
cooked/pickled baby beets (I used Spicy Sweetfire baby beets from Tesco) - sliced 


  1. The oven will need to be pre-heated to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 before baking the pastry and you will need to base-line 3 to 4 baking sheets with baking paper.
  2. Lay out a large sheet of non-stick baking paper on your work surface and dust with tapioca flour. Place your ready-to-roll pastry on top and dust the top with flour too, before carefully rolling out to a thickness of approximately half to one centimetre.
  3. Using a small cookie cutter, carefully cut out your pastry shapes, trying to minimise any pastry waste (to get the best flakiness in the pastry, your pastry should (as far as possible) be cut on the first roll-out).
  4. Place the cut pastry shapes on the prepared baking sheets and chill for half an hour.
  5. Prepare the egg-wash by lightly beating an egg with a little milk using a fork. Brush the tops of half of the pastry shapes with egg-wash (it is important to count them first). Sprinkle a third of the egg-washed shapes with a little grated cheese, a third with paprika and a third with sesame seeds.
  6. Bake all of the pastry shapes in the oven until risen, crisp and golden (about 20 to 25 minutes) and then remove from the oven and set aside on the trays to cool completely.
  7. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese a little to lighten and add air.
  8. Take the ham and either cut into smallish pieces or use the cookie cutter that you used for the pastry to cut into shapes - set aside.
  9. Repeat the same cutting process with the smoked salmon - set aside.
  10. Slice your baby beets into disc shapes.
  11. Using a piping bag with a large open star tip (or just use a teaspoon if easier), pipe two-thirds of the plain cooked pastry bases with a small blob of cream cheese.
  12. Top half of the cream cheese piped bases with a piece of ham and the other half with a piece of smoked salmon.
  13. Take the cheese topped, glazed pasties and carefully pipe a further blob of cream cheese on the underside, before gently pressing onto the ham pastries.
  14. Repeat the process, piping a small blob of cream cheese onto the underside of the paprika-topped pastries and sandwiching onto the smoked salmon bases.
  15. Finally, take a clean piping bag with a clean tip, fill with houmous and repeat the same process with the remaining pastry bases and sesame tops, sandwiching the two layers with a disc of beetroot. (It is best to make the houmous ones just before you eat them as the houmous will quickly dry and darken at the edges).
  16. Chill to store.
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  1. Hats off to you Kate, this is an awesome idea for a recipe and what a commemorative way to share it. This is going to be a new addition to accompany my other party food favourites, family and friends will love them xx

    1. Thanks Rebecca. They are so easy to make. They will definitely be on my party 'go to' recipe list now!

  2. These look perfect for this week's FF party! Thanks for sharing, Kate! x

  3. those hummous ones sound like the bites I would make a bee line for! I am amazed at the story of your dad being diagnosed and still eating all the wheat food - I guess back then he would not have had many alternatives. One of my colleagues at work said her brother was diagnosed as a child 60or 70 years ago and if not for the diagnosis (which was quite new) they think he might have died - I wonder what would have happened to my niece if she had not been diagnosed as a baby as she was obviously affected quite badly by it at that age. Sad to think that your dad just suffered through the pain. Glad you and your daughter get a better deal - in fact some really wonderful GF food!

    1. Thanks Johanna.
      The houmous ones are so good..... but then I have a particular love of houmous with spicy beetroot!
      Coeliac diagnosis and treatment has come a long way in the last 50 years..... If my dad were alive today, I think he would be amazed at how much GF food is available and how much better we understand the condition! x

  4. These puff pastry bites sound like perfect party food! It is great that so much has been done to raise awareness of ceoliac disease over the last few years. It must have been incredibly difficult in the past for people to follow a gluten free diet and I guess a lot of people did just decide to put up with the ill effects. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

    1. They certainly are Corina and Thanks! Always good to share x
      My Dad would be astounded at how differently Coeliac is understood these days.

  5. You make everything look so pretty! And cute! Great party snack idea:)

    1. Awww thanks Monika. Pretty food always looks extra yummy!! x

  6. Great recipe for an important cause! I love how easy these are to put together and your filling choices are delicious and I would so enjoy every one of them :) Perfect canapés if you ask me! Thank you for sharing with #BakingCrumbs :) x

    1. Thanks Jo. There are so few good GF canapé recipes around...... I suspect I could be making these very often! x

  7. How wonderful that puff comes in a gluten free option!! What a perfect Mother's day brunch item. Or perfect for a shower! Thanks for sharing with us at Fiesta Friday!


    1. Absolutely Mollie. GF puff was a long time coming and so welcome..... It's such a drag to make at home!

  8. What a wonderful recipe - I just love those gorgeous stars. So perfect for party. I can well understand why Miss GF gobbled them all up. And such an interesting post about the change in attitudes towards Coeliac 'disease'. I am amazed that they could identify your dad as a Coeliac so long ago, yet didn't know to insist he should avoid gluten. (Bananas? really?) Your poor dad to suffer for so long, how awful. You must be so grateful to live in much more enlightened times. (Well it's better at least - I know some people still don't get it!!) Eb x

    1. Thanks Eb. They were pretty good!
      Dad lived in a very different time. Bananas was a weird one! He actually had them specially shipped in for him during the war..... the other kids were so jealous..... But I'm not sure it did anything to make him feel physically better xx

  9. These are so adorable and I love the fillings. What a powerful story about your dad and I'm sure he'd be very happy that your daughter is not suffering in the same way.

    1. Thank you Emma. I think Dad would be amazed at what we can make now and would be very proud of Miss for handling Coeliac so well.... x

  10. Lovely little bites Karen. I always look for ideas for nibbles and these are lovely to look at too.. not just delicious!

  11. Great recipe and an important condition to highlight. Even though doctors are more aware my sister was not diagnosed until into her 50s. Our dad was a baker her health has so much improved now she follows a strictly no gluten diet. Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare

    1. Oh goodness..... Sadly, that is not a rare story.... There are so many people who have suffered for a long time before diagnosis. So pleased that your sister is on the road to recovery x

  12. They are so cute and I love that you've done them in a star shape. The world has changed so much in relation to dietary needs, it really is amazing and it will only get better.

    1. Thanks Kat. We are definitely improving our understanding and our options for eating al the time x

  13. These definitely look like very scrummy party food Kate - something yummy that a lot of people can enjoy. I was fascinated to learn that Coeliac's UK has been going for 50 years now - they definitely seem to have made huge strides in recent years with so much more awareess and a greater range of suitable food available. Thankyou for sharing with #BakingCrumbs,
    Angela x

    1. Thanks Angela. The range of GF food is still growing fast, although it can be frustrating that you have to traipse from supermarket to supermarket to source it. Coeliac UK have done so much to move things forward. x

  14. I can't believe how cute these are with the little star cutter, so clever! And the colour from the beetroot is genius! xo

    1. Thanks Amanda. I didn't want to cut bog-standard circles or squares, but I was rather pleased with the result. x

  15. I can see how Miss GF would visit your stash of these. I think I could gobble them up in one go. They look so beautiful.


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