Basic Shortcrust Pastry
Not fashionable, not clever, not over-rich, but for my money the humble shortcrust is one of the best pastries of all. What it provides is a light, crisp, melting crust, which has all the important flavours of the wheat – all that you imagine home-made pastry to be. It is made, quite simply, from flour, fat and water, with nothing else added. But a well-made, thinly rolled shortcrust provides a discreet 'melt in the mouth' presence, a perfect backdrop to the richness, intensity or even delicacy of filling and ingredients.
Makes 6 oz (175 g) finished weight of pastry – enough to line a 7 or 8 inch (18 or 20 cm) flan or quiche tin
|4 oz (110 g) plain flour|
|pinch of salt|
|1 oz (25 g) softened lard|
|1 oz (25 g) softened butter|
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|There is no list of equipment specified for this recipe.|
This recipe is taken from Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course.
Begin by sifting the flour and pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve as high as possible, so that they get a really good airing before you begin. Now add the lard and butter, cut into smallish lumps, then take a knife and begin to cut the fat into the flour. Go on doing this until it looks fairly evenly blended, then begin to rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips only and being as light as possible. As you gently rub the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back into the bowl, which again means that all the time air is being incorporated, but do this just long enough to make the mixture crumbly with a few odd lumps here and there. Now sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water in, then, with a knife, start bringing the dough together, using the knife to make it cling. Then discard the knife and, finally, bring it together with your fingertips. When enough liquid is added, the pastry should leave the bowl fairly clean. If this hasn't happened, then add a spot more water. Now place the pastry in a polythene bag and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.
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