Pigs in blankets, sausage rolls, or pastry cannons as our editors like to call them, are always a hit when the silly season comes around. They're a real grab-and-go situation regardless of if one's making their way to the Christmas tree or around the big day's spread, and this gluten-free recipe from GF master Becky Excell is giving everyone absolutely no excuse not to scoff a few down—find it, and plenty more gluten free recipes in her latest book How To Bake Anything Gluten Free.
"These are perfect for party canapés, or just epic gluten-free snacks on Christmas day. The combo of crisp, flaky pastry wrapped around pigs in blankets never fails to be a proper people-pleaser. You can always make your own pigs in blankets by wrapping (raw) gluten-free cocktail sausages in rashers of streaky bacon, if you can’t find any. Or just use gluten-free cocktail sausages and enjoy these all year round."
Pigs In Blankets
Takes 35 minutes
- Pre-made gluten-free shortcrust pastry (found in most supermarkets) or gluten-free rough puff pastry (recipe at bottom of page)
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 18 gluten-free pigs in blankets
- Handful of poppy seeds
- Cranberry sauce, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 200°C fan / 220°C / 425°F. Line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.
- Place the pastry dough on a large sheet of non-stick baking parchment. Cut the dough in half widthways, re-wrap one portion in cling film (plastic wrap) and place back in the fridge. Roll out the second dough portion into a large rectangle, about 15 x 35cm (6 x 14in) and 2mm (₁⁄₁₆in) thick. Use a pizza cutter to cut it into 9 rectangles, each 5 x 11.5cm (2 x 4½in), then brush both of the shorter edges of each with beaten egg.
- Place a pig in blanket in the middle of each rectangle. Fold over both sides, ensuring that they overlap slightly to form a seam, and gently press all along the seam to seal it completely. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam-side down.
- Brush each sausage roll with beaten egg and top with poppy seeds. Repeat with the other portion of your pastry and pigs in blankets.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15–20 minutes.
- Serve with cranberry sauce for dipping.
- These will puff in the oven, so ensure you create a nice, secure seam or they’ll open up as they bake.
- Remember that when using rough puff pastry, you cannot simply just re-roll it (or any off-cuts) into a ball. You’ll destroy the layers you’ve spent time creating! If you do have any offcuts, you can always top them with cheese and bake until golden for an easy snack.
Rough Puff Pastry
Makes 650G (1LB 7oZ)
Takes 30 minutes + 1 ¼ hours chilling
- 295g (scant 2¼ cups) gluten-free plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- Pinch of salt
- 225g (1 cup) very cold butter, cut into 1cm (½in) cubes
- 1 medium egg white
- Ice-cold water
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together your flour, xanthan gum and salt.
- Make sure your butter is really cold; if not, put it in the fridge or freezer until chilled. Add the cubes to the bowl and stir it into the flour. With cool hands, gently squeeze the butter with your fingertips to break the cubes down a little. Definitely don’t try and rub them into the flour as we want to see chunks of butter in the mix at all times.
- Add your egg white to a jug (pitcher) and add ice-cold water to the jug until the mixture reaches 130ml (4½fl oz) in total. Give it a mix. Gradually add three-quarters of the wet mixture to your mixing bowl, tossing the mixture with your hands, or using a knife to cut it in, between pouring. This will allow the mix to hydrate, but don’t try to form a dough at this point.
- Once you’ve added three-quarters of the wet mixture, start to add it in even smaller quantities, still tossing in between. If your dough doesn’t come together after adding all of it, you might need to add up to an extra tablespoon of water. Bear
- in mind that you may need to add more or less water – this just serves as a rough guide. Once a dough starts to form, only then begin bringing it together with your hands – you don’t want it to be too dry or sticky, just somewhere in between.
- Using your hands, form a rectangle with the dough and wrap in cling film (plastic wrap). It should have visible streaks of butter in it. Place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
- Lightly flour a large sheet of non-stick baking parchment. Remove your dough from the fridge and remove the cling film. Roll it out on the parchment until just over 1cm (½in) thick. Fold over the bottom of the dough so it meets the middle, then fold the top of the rolled out dough over that, like a letter in an envelope. Try to get the layers fairly evenly folded, but at this stage, it doesn’t matter if it looks messy.
- Return the dough to the fridge for about 15 minutes, to chill. Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling
- 3 more times, turning the pastry 90 degrees each time you roll. On its last trip to the fridge, chill it for no less than 30 minutes before using.
- You can freeze this pastry for up to 2 months; defrost fully before using.
- Chill! Using cold water, cold butter and chilling the dough makes your gluten-free pastry stronger and more workable. Making any type of pastry on an incredibly hot day isn’t advisable as the warmer your dough is, the more fragile it will become.
- Remember that when using rough puff pastry, you cannot simply just reroll it (or any off-cuts) into a ball. You’ll destroy the layers you’ve spent time creating! If you do have any off-cuts, you can always bake them and roll them in cinnamon sugar for a sweet, buttery treat.
This is an edited extract from How To Bake Anything Gluten Free by Becky Excell published by Quadrille.
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