Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Canapés

with rye and black pepper pastry

I love the flavour of rye with smoked salmon, and incorporating some rye flour into the pastry casing for these canapés adds a lovely savoury tang. I use our organic dark rye flour blended with our organic soft cake and pastry flour, and the combination of the two creates a reasonably robust and easy to work with pastry which also retains the flavour of the dark rye. This canapé works all year round, whether as a Christmas nibble or on long summer evenings topped with freshly picked dill. Capers also make a good addition if you want to sprinkle a few on top.

Makes 24 canapés


  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 80g dark rye flour
  • 120g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 beaten egg, to glaze
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch of freshly crushed black pepper, plus extra to garnish
  • bunch of fresh dill, leaves finely chopped (reserve some sprigs whole to garnish)
  • 120g smoked salmon, in small slices


First, make your pastry. Cut your butter into cubes of roughly 1cm using two knives to avoid touching it with your hands, and place it in a large mixing bowl.

Add your rye flour and plain flour plus the salt and teaspoon of crushed black pepper. Gently rub the butter into the flours using your fingertips until you reach a breadcrumb-type consistency – don’t overwork it.

Mix your egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of cold water, and sprinkle it evenly over the mixture. Use a blunt kitchen knife or palette knife to incorporate it as quickly as possible and bring the dough together. If you need more water add it gradually and sparingly – you only need enough water to bind the dough. If your ingredients look dry then add some more water, but stop before it becomes wet and tacky; you want to end up with a soft dough.

Shape your dough into a disc and wrap it in cling film. Rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

On a lightly floured work surface use a rolling pin to ridge the dough and start to push it outwards before you roll it. Rotate at each quarter turn, and when it is big enough, roll it out into a circle shape, 2-3mm thick.

Cut out the tart cases using a cutter and place them in a buttered cupcake or muffin tin. Prick the bases with a fork, and glaze with the beaten egg.

Bake for 20 minutes until just golden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.

In the meantime, assemble your filling. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the cream cheese, buttermilk, lemon juice, pepper and dill together until thick and creamy. I like to beat it for about 10 minutes which gives it a lovely texture.

Once the tart cases have cooled, spoon the cream cheese filling into each and top with a twirl of smoked salmon. Garnish with dill and serve immediately.