Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Perfect All Butter Pastry

Today is a notable day in my culinary achievements. I have finally mastered all-butter pastry. I have tried so many techniques over the years and never been totally satisfied. Sometimes I would blind bake the pastry, sometimes I would use a mixer, sometimes I would add an egg.... you get the picture. But I have finally settled on the necessary ingredients and techniques to make the perfect all-butter savoury pastry. And here it is:

All-Butter Pastry (for a savoury filling)
Ingredients (for a 23cm tart tin)
260g plain flour
115g butter fridge cold
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1. Weigh the flour and salt into a bowl.
2. Grate the butter into the flour (using the large holes in the grater).
3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
4. Add the egg to the mixture and work together with a knife - add some iced water as required to bring it together.
5. As soon as the pastry comes together (do not overwork it), press it into a 2cm thick disc, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 mins.
6. Lightly flour the table and roll out the pastry until 3mm thick.
7. Roll the pastry over the tin, tuck it into place and gently press against the 'corner' of the base to ensure a complete fit. Leave some pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base of the pastry all over, then chill in the fridge for another 30mins.
8. Remove the pastry case from the fridge. Line the base of the pastry with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and blind bake for 20mins.
9. Remove the beans and parchment from the pastry case and return to the oven for another 5mins to cook the base.
10. Brush the pastry base with egg white to seal the holes. Trim the pastry around the edges and leave to cool or fill with your desired filling. (Today mine was asparagus and goat's cheese).

Now to master the sweet one!

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