Perfect Pastry

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Earlier in the week I posted my recipe for Pineapple and Coconut Meringue Pie. Whilst it is a pastry based dessert I did not include my pastry recipe as I felt it deserved a post of its own. This is the pastry recipe I use anytime I need a pie crust for any sweet recipe. I made it in very large batches for Mr B and I’s wedding desserts which ranged from caramel tarts to lemon pie. I double this recipe to make apple pies with lattice tops and it works wonderfully for small handheld sweet pies too with one batch making enough for around 6 smaller pastry bases. Whilst the recipe does call for a food processor I did make this by hand many times before I owned a food processor with equally fabulous results albeit taking a little longer.

Perfect Pastry Recipe

1 1/4 cups plain flour

1 tbsp icing sugar mixture

125g cold butter chopped

1 egg yolk

1-2 tbsp cold water

Preheat your oven to 180C fan forced.Grease and line a tart tin with a removable base, my tins are around 27cm and small are around 6cm. Process (or hand rub) flour, icing sugar and butter until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add egg yolk and water and process until the ingredients just come together, it will kind of form a lump in your processor or be able to be pushed into one lump and stick if doing it by hand. Gently kneed pastry on a lightly floured surface until smooth, being careful not to over kneed, this step does not take long at all. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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Roll your pastry between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to cover your tin/s. Ease the pastry into the tin pressing into the base and sides and trim the excess, I usually just roll my rolling pin over the top to cut away the excess. Prick the base all over with a fork, cover in plastic and refrigerate for another 30 minutes. This refrigeration time is important as it stops your pastry from shrinking when cooking and allows it to settle.

place baking paper inside the pastry in the tin/s and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. I have a large jar of uncooked rice that I reuse and re store each time I need some weights.

Bake for roughly 10 minutes, remove the weights/beans/rice and cook for another 10. This cooking time is only an estimate, if you use a smaller tin or multiple tins keep an eye on it and adjust the time accordingly. Also adjust according to your oven as every oven is different. The pastry should be cooked through and slightly golden. Pulling the weights off too early with cause your base to puff up so make sure its pretty done before you remove them as its really just to brown up the pastry that you remove the paper and weights.

So there you have it, my favourite pastry recipe straight out of the Wattle and Bee kitchen, thanks for reading, Nadia B.xx

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