Thursday, November 12, 2009

Short Crust Pastry: -

Ingredients –
225g (8oz) Plain Flour
50g (2oz) Lard
50g (2oz) Butter
½ tsp Salt
2 tbsp Cold Water

Note – the type of fat you use for short crust pastry is really up to you. Butter, Lard, Vegetable fat, Margarine, whatever. I remember my grandpa using half butter and half lard, so I stuck to that.

Method –
1 – Sieve the flour and salt together into a bowl. Tip – always sieve the flour, as you need to make it fluffy when making pastry.
2 - Cut the butter and lard into small cubes approx 1cm in size and add to the flour.
3 – Rub the fats lightly into flour, use the tips of you fingers and lift the mix up as you go. This puts air into the mix. Do this until the mix resembles breadcrumbs. Once it gets to this stage stop. The flour contains gluten, and over mixing does something to the gluten so it becomes chewy and not short and crisp. It’s like making shortbread, to much mixing and the shortbread will become chewy when cooked.
4 - Make a small well in the middle of the mixture and add a little cold water, mix using a knife, do this until the mix is a nice dough similar in texture to play-dough or modelling clay. Do not have the party sticky. If it does add a little more flour.
5 – Wrap the pastry in Clingfilm and put in the fridge for al least half an hour. Or freeze it for another day.

To cook the pastry bake in a preheated oven at between 190°C: 375°F: Gas 5 or 220°C: 425°F: Gas 7 depending on thickness and use.

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