Are you looking for something new to bake with your child? Here are three things I make with my child (pictured here at 3 and 4 years old) using Filo/Phyllo pastry.
Filo/Phyllo pastry can be crumbly and flaky so we need to embrace the messy parts and acknowledge with the child that the pastry will tear. We use premade fresh pastry from the supermarket.
All of these recipes can be adapted depending on your likes and dislikes. The processes I've listed can be adapted to the age and skill of the child. Sometimes my children will stay with me for the whole process and other times they may only want to mix and then run off and play.
With the recipes shown here, I've prepared the ingredients beforehand so my child is mostly assembling the dish. He has done some chopping, lots of mixing and lots of hands-on work, but be prepared for the child not to stay with you throughout, it's typical and can be expected.
Let's get started!
1. Vegetarian Baked Samosas - I make this frequently with my children as we usually have all the ingredients in the fridge/freezer. Based on this recipe. We use sweet potato in place of russet potato and olive oil in place of melted butter. I've presented the ingredients premeasured and ready to go, the potato has already been cooked and cooled.
The child can:
- Mash the potato.
- Add all the ingredients to the mashed potato and mix.
- Brush or 'paint' the pastry with olive oil.
- Spoon a blob of ingredients onto the corner of the pastry.
- Fold the pastry over to make little triangles.
The hardest part is folding the parcels into little triangles, don't worry if they are not perfect.
Then we bake in the oven until golden and serve.
2. Mini Quiche - I don't use a recipe for this, we use different ingredients each time depending on what we have in the fridge.
The child can:
- Grate some cheese and set it aside. We use cheddar cheese.
- Help chop the ingredients into small pieces. We use mushrooms, tomato, onion, ham and fresh parsley.
- Put the chopped ingredients in a bowl and mix.
- Crack and whisk eggs (4-6 eggs). Add a bit of milk and whisk. I like to do this in a pyrex jug as it makes it easier for the child to pour.
- Oil muffin tins with olive oil with a small pastry brush. We could also use melted butter.
- Put squares of filo pastry into each spot in the muffin tray.
- Add chopped ingredients into the pastry in the muffin tray.
- Pour whisked eggs over the chopped ingredients in the muffin tray. The child needs to carefully fill each quiche and not overfill.
- Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of each mini quiche in the muffin trays.
Then we bake until golden and serve. I didn't take a picture of these after baking.
3. Spanakopita - Greek Spinach Pie - based loosely on this recipe (we don't add dill). Here I've presented the child with all the ingredients premeasured and ready to go.
The child can:
- Put all the ingredients into the bowl and mix them together. This includes crumbing the fetta cheese in (fun for children who like the sensation, not all children will like this part).
- Carefully, with adult help, place the sheets of filo pastry into a dish.
- Spoon the mixture into the dish. Smooth over the mixture so it is flat/level. We use the back of the spoon for this.
- Put one more layer of filo pastry on top.
- Fold the edges of the pastry over so no pastry is hanging over the edge of the dish. This is a fun part as the child can use their little fingers to fold the pastry.
- Brush the top of the pastry with olive oil. We could also use butter. This is just like 'painting' the pastry.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Then we bake and serve. My three children ate this all in five minutes, it was super tasty! You can see the children at Leafbud Montessori baking Spanakopita here.
We need to be very forgiving when baking with children, remember to focus on the process, not the product. I enjoy baking with my children more than baking alone. I can let go more when baking with my children and embrace the imperfections. I think it looks better when it's child made! ❤️
We use a
- Montessori style apron so the child can easily put it on, and take it off independently.
- Kitchen Helper so my child can safely work with me at the kitchen counter.
- large transparent bowl so the child can easily see what is going on and how well it is mixing, other children's mixing bowls ideas here.
- children's kitchen knife, for younger children <4yrs, I recommend the KinderKitchen serrated knife.
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