Monday, 26 July 2010

Pastries of Death Part 1: making basic shortcrust pastry

Welcome to part 1 of Pastries of Death. It's like Delia Smith with double bass pedalling.

There's nothing wrong with pre-made pastry, but it's very cheap and easy to make fresh stuff yourself and I find it quite satisfying to make my own pies or tarts.

For your basic shortcrust pastry you want a ratio of half fat to flour. If you're making a tart with an average sized sandwich tin, I'd recommend using 150g plain flour and 75g butter, as this will give you slightly more than enough, thus enabling a nice even case.

Now, you can make pastry in a food processor, but the method I'm going to describe here is for making it by hand, i.e. the rubbing in method. If, after reading this, you really need me to explain how to do this in a food processor, you're probably an idiot.

First, get your butter out of the fridge so that it can soften. When you've done this, sieve the flour into a mixing bowl, sprinkle a little salt in and add the butter in small lumps and rub it together using your fingertips, like I'm doing in this sexy pic; raise your hands up as you do it as this will help to create a nice light, airy pastry. You can stop when the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add JUST enough cold water, a little sprinkle at a time, to allow you to turn the mixture into a dough that sticks together - it should still feel fairly dry to the touch. If it gets a bit gooey add flour. Then wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour. Alternatively, you can freeze it.

No comments:

Post a Comment