Shortcrust Pastry

Makes enough for an 8 inch Pie

Ingredients

  • 170g Plain Flour
  • 55g Chilled Butter
  • 30g Lard
  • 3 TBSP Cold Water

Preparation Time – 40 Minutes (This includes 30 minutes chilling time)

Cooking Time – 30 Minutes

I have been very open about the fact I have never attempted to make puff pastry, shortcrust pastry however is something I always make from scratch, it is very easy and made from ingredients I usually always have in the kitchen……….well actually I dont always have lard in my fridge but it is not absolutely necessary that you use lard, you can just substitute the lard for extra butter but  the lard honestly does make the pastry so much better. When I am planning to make pastry I buy lard but if it is a spur of the moment idea I just use butter.

I don’t know what it is about making pastry but it just makes me feel like an old fashioned housewife in the 60’s or something, I think it is possibly because my mum has told me stories about my grandma cooking when she was growing up and then I also grew up with my mum spending a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and baking.

There is just something so comforting to me about homemade pies and how the pastry looks so imperfect but traditional, unlike the perfectly symmetrical, generic pies you can buy in a supermarket that you can tell come straight off a conveyor belt.

Method

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, butter and lard. It will be easier to combine if you cut the butter ans lard into small pieces before adding to the flour.

With your fingers, rub the flour, lard and butter together until the mixture becomes like breadcrumbs.

Now add the water a tablespoon at a time. With a blunt, metal knife start to mix the water into the breadcrumbs. Do this whilst gradually adding the remaining water. When you have added the rest of the water, begin to knead the mixture with your hands until the mixture is completely combined and there are no lumps. If you think the mixture is too dry and there is still “crumbs” which have not combined, add a little more water,or if you think the mixture is too wet and sticky you can add some more flour until you get a dough you can knead which no longer sticks to you.

Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least half an hour.

Once chilled preheat your oven to 180°C, take out the dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until it is around a quarter to a half a centimetre thick and place in a greased, pie dish. Go around the edges of your pie dish with a sharp knife and cut off the overlapping pastry from the edges. Add your filling. If you are also making a lid for your pie, you can roll the pastry a little thinner or double the ingredients. Also if you are adding a lid, you should brush around the edge of the pie with milk or water so that your lid will stick to the bottom case.

I made 4 small 11cm pies with lids as i like my pastry quite thin.

Place your pie in the oven for 30 minutes or until your pastry is golden and your filling is cooked.

Take them out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cook.

I filled my pies with the same mixture i used for my cheese and onion pasties.

 

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As you will have left over scraps of pastry from where you have cut around your edges etc, I put these in a tupperware tub in the freezer and just add my scraps to it whenever I make and eventually I end up with enough scraps to make a whole pie crust.

 

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