Tress of the Emerald Sea is set in Lumar, a captivating addition to Brandon Sanderson's beloved Cosmere universe. It introduces readers to the charming Tress, a young window washer with a passion for collecting cups, baking pies, and listening to stories told by her friend Charlie. As a lover of both literature and baking pies, I was overjoyed upon encountering the first mention of Tress's pie-baking endeavors.
Creating a recipe based on the detailed description of quail egg pies in the following passage was a no-brainer.
Both listened quietly as she spoke. This was, in part, because she’d baked them quail-egg pies. It’s more difficult to object to your daughter's temporary insanity when your mouth is full.
Once she’d finished, Lem asked for seconds. It was a two-pie type of predicament. Ulba only finished half of her meal, sitting back and leaving the rest untouched. It was also a half-pie type of predicament.
Tress’s father ate his second pie with deliberate care, digging down from the top, then eating outward, saving the crust for the end. Finally, he crunched through that. Then he stared at the plate for a long, uncomfortable moment.
Was it… perhaps… a three-pie predicament? “I think,” he said at last, turning to Ulba, “we are going to have to let her do this.”
“It’s lunacy!” Tress’s mother said. “ Leave the island? Travel to the Midnight Sea? Steal a prisoner from the sorceress?”
I wholeheartedly agree with Tress's father, Lem - it was unquestionably a three-pie predicament. These delightful miniature pies, enveloped in a buttery flaky pastry, boast a delectable filling of savory sausage complemented by a hint of parsley, each encasing a perfectly cooked whole quail egg at its core.
Short Crust Pastry
- 300 grams all-purpose flour
- 150 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
- 1/2 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt
- 4-6 tablespoons cold water
- 16 ounces, mild sausages (I used bangers from a local butcher)
- 1 tablespoon, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 whole quail eggs
You'll also need
- Milk or cream for a pastry wash
- A 6in (15cm) circle cutter and a 4in (10cm) circle cutter
- Muffin pan
- Rolling pin
- Digital scale
Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the cubed butter. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal - work quickly so that the butter doesn't heat up and turn the mixture greasy. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a butter knife. Use the minimum amount of water necessary, as the dough should be a bit crumbly. Press the dough together and dump it onto a nonstick surface - knead the dough just until it comes together into a nice smooth ball. Divide the dough into 2 equal weight pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Boil a pot of water, reduce heat to medium and add the quail eggs - cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon into an ice-filled bowl of water to stop the cooking. Peel the eggs carefully and set aside.
Remove the casing from the sausages and place the meat into a large bowl. Add the parsley and mix together - cover and chill.
Roll one of the chilled pastry balls out on a non-stick surface until it's about 1/8 inch thick. Cut six circles with the 6 inch cutter and set aside. Repeat the process with the second ball of dough, but using the smaller cutter to cut 6 circles. Use the larger set of circles to line the holes of each muffin tin.
Divide the sausage into 12 individual portions. Press 1 portion of sausage into each lined muffin tin and then press a divot into the center of each. Add a quail egg to each spot, then top with another portion of sausage, carefully pressing the sausage around the quail eggs. Brush the edge of each pie with a little milk or cream, and then place the smaller circles of pastry on top - crimp the edges lightly with a fork. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow small X on each pastry - make sure not to cut deeply enough to puncture the eggs. Brush with cream or milk, and bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy with English mustard and your favorite cup.