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Shortcrust Pastry

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Shortcrust Pastry

At the weekend I made a few apple pies using apples from the garden. They turned out good except the pastry isn't particularly crumbly and after a couple of days they do tend to seem a bit tougher and nothing like my old grandmother used to makeCry

 

Sadly my mum is no longer able to recall how to make pastry so I have been looking at 't'internet then decided perhaps people here have tried and tested recipes that I could attempt.

 

Currently I use:

½ lb plain flour

Pinch of salt and half teaspoon of sugar for sweet pies

4oz butter

2oz lard

Cold water to mix

 

I rub the butter and lard into the flour, salt and sugar mixture till it resembles breadcrumbs then make a well and some of the water and mix with a fork. When it becomes 'sticky' I then finish mixing with my hands. I then put it in the fridge for 15 minutes before rolling.

 

So any ideas for a different/better recipe would be greatly appreciated.

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8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Shortcrust Pastry

I use very little pastry in cooking and have to admit I cheat and buy the ready made pastry from the supermarket.

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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

Quite agree, even TV chefs admit to using ready-made (particularly filo and puff).

I have made pastry, not always successfully. SWMBO used to make delicious shortcrust pastry and swore by adding an egg.

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Mayfly
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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

My MiL used to make beautiful pastry and never weighed any thing. 

Mine always turns out tasty but a bit tough. Apparently I handle it and roll it too much.

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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

Too make good shortcut pastry... Don't overmix the crumb stage.
Use very little water - just enough to bind it (much less than you think as the fat encapsulates almost all the loose gluten in the flour. It's the gluten that gets sticky and bind it together).
A cheat is to replace 10% of the flour with rice flour. It will make no difference to the taste but as it had no gluten it breaks up the long chains of gluten (it is these that make it 'tough').

Pastry when mixed should 'snap' not fold when you try to fold it in half.

On the gluten front - if you check the flour label it will have a figure for protein content. The lower the better for shortcrust pastry, ideally under 9%. Conversely, for bread this figure needs to be higher, ideally 13%+. Wholemeal bread will not rise as much as white bread because it includes the ground husk, which as it had no gluten in it brings the overall gluten content down. Too produce Voluminous wholemeal loaf you can add dried gluten.

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St3
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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

i love flaky pastry the wife makes great chicken,bacon,leek pie with flaky pastry.

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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

Thanks for the replies.

 

Will be making more (meat) pies next week so look forward to doing it differently.

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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

Make sure you don't use a hard flour such as a bread flour. Use a general purpose cake flour. 

If you are making pastry for savoury food use lard as the fat, for sweeter pastry use butter. I use 50% fat to flour by weight. Handle the mix as little as possible and keep it cool. Use just your fingers in contact with the fat and flour when blending to make the crumb. You should be trying to avoid melting the fat as you mix.

I tend to use iced water when mixing the crumb.  Avoid kneading the dough.

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Re: Shortcrust Pastry

I found the following recipe and using the hints and tips above I made an apple pie plus several chicken and mushroom pies and the pastry was exquisite; very crumbly and tasty, just how I like itThumbs Up

 

Also made a batch of apple crumbles so I am covered for the next few days. Still got lots more apples in the garden to harvest. Not actually sure what type they are so may take a photo and perhaps someone can help?

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