Pastry – making, rolling, lining a tin and baking blind

Here’s the first of a selection of useful step-by-step instructional videos.

I really love making pastry by hand. I am always amazed that by rubbing butter into flour with your fingertips, you get this beautiful even crumb, that trickles through your hand like sand. It’s magic.


……..and here’s the recipe for the basic shortcrust pastry, and an enriched shortcrust recipe, (with egg yolk) and a basic sweetcrust pastry.

Shortcrust Pastry
Enough for a 25 cm tart tin

250 g plain flour
pinch salt
125 g unsalted butter
 
Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs.
 
Trickle in enough cold water, (a good guide is to allow 1 teaspoon of water per 25 g of flour) and using a fork, stir in the water, then bring together to form a firm dough.
(alternatively, place the flour salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and whiz to form breadcrumbs. With the motor running, trickle in the water, only just enough time to come together to form a dough. Don’t over mix.)

Enriched Shortcrust Pastry
To the above recipe for shortcrust pastry, add 1 egg yolk and a little water to make the dough.

Sweetcrust Pastry
Enough for a 25 cm tart tin

250 g plain white flour
pinch salt
125 g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water

To make the pastry, put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together. Add the egg yolks and then gradually add the flour , mixing well to make a soft dough. Wrap in greaseproof paper and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Cut the butter into cubes and add to the bowl. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Pour in the water and egg yolk and mix in with a fork, then use your fingers to form the pastry into a dough.

(As above, place the flour salt and butter in the bowl of a food processor and whiz to form breadcrumbs. Whiz in the sugar then with the motor running, trickle in the water and egg yolk, only just briefly enough time for the dough to come together to come together to form a ball of dough. Don’t over mix.

To roll out and line a tart tin…

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry thinly with a rolling pin, so it’s a little bigger than the tin. Lightly flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry up loosely around it, then unroll over the tin. Push the pastry into the corners of the tin and pinch off the excess all the way round with your fingers. Then with your finger tips, gently pinch up the edges by a couple of mm’s again to make a neat edge.

To Bake Blind 
You’ll need to bake pastry blind when making a tart that requires a cooked or semi cooked crisp pastry base. (where a completely cooked filling is placed in the tart shell or one that doesn’t take long to cook.) You pre bake the pastry shell weighed down with baking beans, (Reference Things to Make Life Easier re baking beans page ‘00’) then the beans are removed in their paper and the pastry shell is returned to the oven to finish cooking.
Prick the base of the raw pastry all over with a fork. Cut a piece of parchment paper slightly bigger than the tin and fill to the rim with baking beans. to weigh it down to stop it rising. Then place in a preheated oven 190 C/gas 5 and bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the paper and beans and cook for a further 5-10 minutes for a par-baked shell, or 10-15 minutes for a fully cooked shell.

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One Response to Pastry – making, rolling, lining a tin and baking blind

  1. Pingback: Leek and Potato Dauphinois Tart | HOT MEALS NOW

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