Thursday, 3 January 2013

Quick Shortcrust Pastry

This is my tried and tested shortcrust pastry recipe.  I tore it out of a magazine many years ago and it sits in my pile of frequently used recipes kept protected in a plastic wallet.

Food processor required.

175g plain flour
100g cold butter or margarine
Pinch of salt

Pulse the ingredients in food processor until it resembles bread crumbs.  Add 1 tbsp of water and pulse again a few times.  Add more water 1 tbsp at a time pulsing a few times after.  When it just starts to come together stop pulsing.  I find it takes about 3 tbsp but that will vary with flours and how much margarine you are using.

Tip out onto a clean kitchen counter, squish the dough together, then place in a tupperware container, plastic bag, or cling film and place in the refrigerator for half an hour to firm up.

Roll out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin as thin as a £1 coin if you can as it puffs up a bit when cooked.

I use it as a flan casing, never bothering to blind bake it.  Or as a pie covering.  I also never brush it with beaten egg as this seems a waste of lovely rich organic eggs.  And as the Turkey & Leek Pie below shows, it still comes out nice and browned.

And once you are confident with the basic pastry maybe try a few additions at the processing stage; a handful of sage leaves, a handful of cheddar or parmesan, chilli flakes, walnuts...

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