Short Pastry — Sweet and Savoury

11:30 am on 17 September 2012

Warwick insisted that all our chefs make pastry by hand the classical way he was taught. I’m glad he did, as you can really taste the difference. Guests rave about the pastry in our French Onion Tart and our dessert tarts. Warwick said that the difference comes because of the way the ingredients are handled. The butter must be very cold and is mixed in quickly. Follow these instructions and you’ll love the results.

(Makes 700g)

Ingredients

  • 350 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g icing sugar (leave this out for savoury pastry)

Method

Make a small mound of the flour and salt on a cold working surface. Grate the cold butter straight onto the flour, and add the eggs and sugar.

Work everything through the flour, pushing and pulling it with the heel of your palm. Work as quickly as possible, so that the gluten activates while the butter stays as cold as possible.

Push and pull until the dough forms. Shape it into a ball. Flatten it with your hand, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

If you don’t want to use it all at once, it freezes well.

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