Oh, you're still serving your soup in sourdough? That's cute.
1 box frozen puff pastry sheets
1 egg, beaten
For the chowder
20 to 25 clams
1 cup water, for cooking, then reserve for chowder
1 tbsp butter
3 slices of pancetta or bacon, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
Sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp flour
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 medium potato, cut into small cubes
Pepper, for taste
A handful of parsley, chopped
Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out 1 puff pastry sheet to about ¼ inch thick. Cut out 6 discs using a crinkle cutter measuring 3.5 inches in diameter.
Use a smaller 2 inch cutter to cut out the centers of 3 discs. Keep the smaller circles to use as ‘lids’ later.
On a tray lined with parchment paper, place the 3 ‘base discs’, and brush with egg wash. Place the rings with a hole in the middle on top of the bases, and brush the tops with egg wash. Place the small “lids” on the sheet, and brush with egg wash.
Next, prick the bottom of each pastry base with a fork to help prevent the centers from rising in the oven. Place the pastries in the oven.
Repeat the process with your second sheet of puff pastry, so you have 6 bowls in total. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the pastries have risen, and are golden brown.
Make the chowder: In cold water, rinse the clams, and drain. In a large pan with 1 cup of water, gently add the clams. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes until the clams have just opened.
Drain the clams into a sieve, set over a bowl to catch the clam stock. Strain clam stock into a jug and set aside for later. When cool enough to handle, remove the clams from their shells. Optional to reserve a handful of empty shells for presentation. Throw away any clams that haven’t opened.
In a new pan, heat the butter and add the pancetta. Cook the pancetta for 3 to 4 minutes until it begins to brown. Turn the heat down and add the onion, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is soft, then add the flour. Cook for 2 minutes. Gradually, stir in about 1 cup of the clam stock.
Add the cubed potatoes and bring to a simmer. Leave to cook gently for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are just cooked. Stir through the clams, and the clam shells, if using. Simmer for 1 minute to reheat.
Season with black pepper for taste, and a little salt, if needed. Stir through the parsley, just before ladling into the biscuit bowls. Serve, and enjoy!