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Tips and Tricks to Great Pastry

I have mentioned that I would do a pastry post…so here it is! If you are vegetarian or cooking for one…follow same recipe with Crisco shortening.

Tenderflake Pastry

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb tenderflake lard
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 generous cup cold water

1.  Stir the flour and salt together.
2.  Cut in the lard with a pastry blender until it looks like this! Taking the time to work the lard into the flour here will make it blend much smoother when you add the liquid.

Before adding the liquid, it should look like this!

3.  In a measuring cup, combine the egg and vinegar.  Add enough cold water to make one generous cup. I probably add just under 1 1/4 cups.  I find if you use only one cup of liquid exactly there are dry bits that  need to be worked into the pastry when rolling it out, making it tough and not nice and smooth!
4.  Stir the liquid into the flour mixture until it forms a ball. Do not use your hands, as this is one of the things that makes pastry tough.

It should look like this with no dry flour.

5.  Freeze the pastry. Thaw in fridge overnight or ont he counter for a couple hours when you are ready to use it.  If you do not have time to freeze it, at least chill it for a few hours.  You can wrap in smaller portions if desired. I usually just wrap in whole batch, it refreezes well.

Pastry on wax paper, ready to be wrapped, put in  plastic bag and frozen.

6.  Break off pastry in manageable chunks. Enough for a pie crust or more for tarts. Form into a ball with your hands. Lightly flour surface and roll. I pick up the pastry often, turning the dough 90 degrees and making sure there is ample flour under the pastry and on the rolling pin. Do not use so much that it is visible in chunks on the dough. I do not have a fancy rolling pin or rolling mat, basic wooden rolling pin and counter have always worked out fine! As you use the pastry, do not mix the ‘scraps’ into the fresh dough, as it will toughen each time it is rolled out. Wait until you have enough scraps to ball together to re-roll. Try and always use fresh pastry on the top of a pie.

Form into a ball with your hands. Roll, gently but firmly for even pastry.

7.  The top of a double pastry pie browns nicely and flakes even nicer when you brush milk on the top and sprinkle with white sugar prior to baking.


The recipe for Buttertarts to follow on a later post!

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