There are two ways of shaping the paste for patties and tarts. First, roll puff paste one eighth of an inch thick, and stamp out circular pieces with a cutter, two and one half inches in diameter. With a smaller cutter stamp out the centres from half of these pieces, leaving rings half an inch wide. Dip the cutters in hot water, and cut quickly, that the edges may not be pressed together or cut unevenly. Rub a little white of egg on the top of the large rounds near the edge, put on the rings, and press them lightly to make them adhere, but be careful not to get any egg on the edges, as that will prevent them from rising. Put round pieces of stale bread, cut half an inch thick, in the centre, to keep the paste from rising and filling the cavity. Bake on shallow pans lined with paper, and when done remove the bread and soft paste underneath. Bake the small pieces cut from the centre on a pan by themselves, as they take less time for baking. In serving place them on the top of the shells for a cover.
Another way is to roll the paste one fourth of an inch thick, cut with a round cutter, and then with the smaller cutter cut nearly through the centre of each round, making a rim half an inch wide. After baking remove the centre crust and soft part underneath, without breaking through, as then the shell will not hold any liquid mixture. Some persons prefer this method; but there is less waste when cut in the first way, as the parts cut out may be baked for covers, and usually prove to be the most delicate part of the paste. Or, if covers are not wanted, these centres may be rolled out thinner, and used as bottom pieces.
The paste for patties is usually rolled one fourth of an inch thick and cut with a plain cutter. Two or three rims may be put on when a deeper shell is desired. Any kind of delicate cooked meat or fish (chicken, sweetbreads, oysters, lobster, etc.) may be cut into small pieces, and warmed in a thick cream sauce (see page 278), and served hot in patty shells, with a cover of the paste.