Short Crust Pastry Recipe – Simply the Best

@baldchefnick Short Crust Pastry Recipe – Simply the Best

I used to steer clear from making pastry in the early years of my cooking journey and wish I hadn’t. Let’s face it there is nothing as deliciously homely and satisfying as a pie, be it savoury or sweet. This short crust pastry recipe is a winner.

Many years ago my Mum would stuff the Christmas turkey with a simple but incredible stuffing of onions flour and chicken fat. The pastry recipe below has almost the same flavours and ingredients and is just as straight forward and easy to do, it is to quote the late great Tina Turner, “Simply the Best”!

Makes one large pie serving 4-6  (or 4- 6 smaller pies)

Prep time:

Cooking time 45 -60 minutes dependent on your chosen filling, I used slow eight hour cooked shoulder lamb shanks and a reduced gravy. (So 45 minutes is ample at 170 c Fan for that.

Ingredients:

Plain Flour 500g (extra for dusting)

Salt 1 tea spoon (I use Himalayan)

Butter 250g

2Large Eggs

3-4 Tablespoons of Cold Water

Method:

Weigh out your flour into a large bowl and mix in a tea spoon of salt.

Cut your butter into 1-2 cm cubes and if they warm up put them in the fridge too cool down (must be cold before using).

Take your cold cubed butter from the fridge and add to the flour, making sure each cube is coated in flour and doesn’t all stick together, (this will help when you crumb your pastry mix).

Squish and squash your cubes flattening each one between your fingers, then with a light rubbing motion and using your fingertips lightly rub the flour and butter lumps together to create a small dry bread crumb looking mix. Shake the bowl carefully to bring any big lumps to the surface and rub them into the rest of the crumb gently.

Beat one egg and add it to the pastry crumb with 3-4 tablespoons of cold water. Judge this for yourself if your mix won’t come together add the 4th tablespoon.

Bring the mixture together with your fingers (yes gets messy), but be as light and respectful of the pastry as you possibly can. As soon as it comes together take it out the bowl. If you rub your hands together the excess pastry will drop right off and can be used.

Cut your pastry dough into two pieces creating a round flat of each. Wrapping them in grease proof paper put them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Butter the base of your chosen tin or tins (I like a nice loose bottom tin).

Taking your parcels of pastry dough out the fridge after 30 minutes, flour your work surface and roll out. One to a flat round 3-5 mm thickness (I prefer 3mm).

Pick your rolled pastry up using your rolling pin and lay it as centrally as you can over your tin. Now don’t just start prodding it down into the tin but lifting and feeding it gently in, as you press it will stop it tearing. When it is all in, use any excess to fill gaps and then cut the overlapping pastry off or run a rolling pin over it as shown below.

Beat your second egg and carefully brush the edges with it. Don’t be over generous or your pie may get stuck at the edges of your tin.

Fill your pie making sure all gaps are filled generously with your chosen ingredient (not too wet), and turn your oven on to 170c Fan.

Roll out your second piece of pastry dough – same as before and decide on how you want to decorate your pie. It’s your pie so do what you want, anything goes but always remember to leave a hole or cuts for ventilation when cooking and make it your work of pie art.

Don’t forget to egg wash.

Place in the oven for at least 45 minutes but up to an hour for some fillings. You can use a thermometer and to check the recommended cooked temperature, go online for your chosen ingredient.

Half way through the bake brush another layer of egg on your pie for a richer colour (if desired), and when done remove from the oven and set aside.

After 10 minutes I remove mine from the tin and it’s still piping hot!

@baldchefnick tips n tricks:

Your butter must be cold from the fridge in cubed form. When rolling out pastry turn it regularly to save it from sticking. Dust your rolling pin in flour. Don’t worry if your pastry doesn’t fit the tin you can patch up gaps with spare pastry dough. You can leave your dough in the fridge overnight if needed.

Enjoy making some fabulous short crust pastry and pastry designs.

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