Basic Butter Pastry

perfectpastry

The most important thing to remember with any pastry is temperature:  Everything should be cold.  When I began making pastry, I would even freeze flour in order to give myself the best chance of success.

Basic Butter Pastry (double batch)

2 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 C Unsalted butter – frozen
About 3/4 C Ice Water

In a small pitcher, set aside water.  Add a cube or two of ice to keep cold.  In a Cuisinart, pulse dry ingredients.   Add chilled or frozen butter, cut into about half inch pieces.  Pulse dry ingredients with butter until it resembles a coarse meal.  It should feel like small, hard pebbles.  While pulsing Cuisinart, dribble in your ice water.   You may need a tidbit more water.   Pastry will “pull together” and is then ready.   Divide in half, press into a round disc, and cover with saran wrap.  Set aside to rest at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.

** If you do not have a Cuisinart this is easily made with a pastry cutter.  I often do it this way – it is lighter and does  not shrink as much.  Cuisinart pastry (while I do love the ease!) can easily get heavy from the mixing.   I also have made this pastry when traveling or at friends houses, using simply two knives for cutting the fat in.**

Vegan Pastry

2 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 C Shortening – Spectrum Organics
3/4 C Ice Water

Prior to making pastry, measure 1 C shortening (I use only Spectrum Organics and I cannot vouch for the coconut – I have not tried it) wrap in wax paper and put in freezer.  It should be chilled enough in about 30 minutes.  In a small pitcher, set aside ice water.  Add a cube or two of ice to keep cold.  In a Cuisinart, pulse dry ingredients.   Add chilled or frozen shortening, cut into small chunks.  Pulse dry ingredients with shortening until it resembles a coarse meal.  It should feel like small, hard pebbles.  While pulsing Cuisinart, dribble in your ice water.   You may need a tidbit more water.   Pastry will “pull together” and is then ready.   Divide in half, press into a round disc, and cover with saran wrap.  Set aside to rest at least 30 minutes, up to 48 hours.

pastry1

Chunks of shortening in pastry, ready to pulse

pastry2This is about how you want the mixture to appear, prior to adding water

pastry3Almost there – two more pulses and it will all pull together…

pastry4And, done!

THIS is what a perfect pastry looks like from the side:

pieslice

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