Wednesday, August 31, 2011
All puffed up
Yesterday, I made my first ever batch of flaky pastry. It was so successful and so easy that I'll never buy ready-made pastry again. Not even the good Careme stuff, which is delicious and such a step-up - make that a whole staircase up - from the supermarket offerings.
I made it to go with a pie filling that I made in Sunday's cooking frenzy, so that a homemade weekday meat pie wasn't a whole day's palaver. The pastry, the recipe is from the Winter on the Farm cookbook, is simple but, admittedly, does have to be rolled out three times, after the initial rolling, with half-hour rests in between.
Don't let that put you off, though, as the first rolling takes minutes and the subsequent ones less than a minute each. I just left the bench floury and got on with other things in between.
I can't list the recipe here for copyright reasons but it seems to be the pastry of the moment as I'm seeing it everywhere, including the last season of Masterchef. There's not much to it. It's just flour, butter, chilled water and a pinch of salt. The secret is in the folding and rolling required to create the layers.
Best of all, there's no blind baking involved.
My previous favourite pastry recipe, Maggie Beer's sour-cream pastry, has now taken a back seat.