Getting your pastry right is so important to make sure that your baking gets the justice it deserves.
My Mum’s pastry was always perfect whatever it was she baked, savory or sweet. When ever I tried my hand in the kitchen it just never came out right what ever recipe I used from the various books in my Mum’s kitchen. One day she shared with me her recipe for making the ‘Perfect Pastry’ as she called it.
Rule 1; My Mum always insisted on using Self Raising flour and not Plain Flour. She said it made a softer thicker pastry that melted in your mouth. *whispers* she was right!
Rule 2; She always insisted that you use a good quality Butter and not Margarine.
Rule 3; Use very cold water for mixing it.
Rule 4; The colder the hands the better when handling the pastry.
So, What do you need?
This recipe makes 8 oz of pastry, this will give you approx 24 tarts, 12 small (tart size) pies, 1 large pie! If you want less, half the ingredients or double up for more!
8 oz Self Raising Flour
4 oz Butter
75 ml of Cold Water
Pinch of Salt
If you are making a savory pie, that is all you need.
For sweet pies, add 1oz Sugar.
Hold your hands under cold water before you start. Make sure they are dry.
Rub together the Flour and Butter with your finger tips until you have fine crumbs.
If this is a sweet pie, add the sugar and mix in again using your finger tips.
Make a well in the middle of the crumb mixture and pour in the water and stir in using a knife. Add more or less water to make sure it isn’t sticky or crumbly. It should make a lovely dough.
Wrap the pastry in some cling film or foil and leave it in the fridge for an hour to chill.
On removing it from the fridge, using cold hands again, knead the dough a little and then roll out on a flat surface until it is about 5-6mm think.
Use however you normally would at this point for what ever you are baking.
Before placing your prepared baking in the oven, using a pastry brush on a little milk mixed with as beaten egg to the top. This gives the pastry a lovely golden colour when cooked.