Sunday 24 March 2013

Posted by Judie on Sunday 24 March 2013
When making shortcrust pastry it is important that you remember these tips: 

  • All ingredients and utensils should be as cool as possible. This keeps the margarine hard. If it becomes at all warm it will start to make the fingers oily and then it becomes difficult to wrap it into the flour. When that happens the mixture becomes very heavy instead of light and airy.    
  • If you will be using egg yolks to bind the pastry there will be no need for you to add water. If you use too much liquid the pastry becomes tough.

  • 480g plain flour 
  • 300g margarine 
  • 120g sugar 
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • grated rind of 1 lemon 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Sieve the flour into a large bowl, holding the sieve as high as possible, so that the flour gets a really good airing. 

Add the margarine, cut into smallish lumps, then begin to rub it 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. 

In a separate bowl mix together the sugar, egg yolk, vanilla essence and lemon rind. Mix well. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Work into a dough. The pastry should leave the bowl fairly clean. Do not overwork the pastry because the end result will be a tough pastry. The pastry must be of a rollable consistency. 

Place the pastry in a polythene bag and leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest. You can prepare it overnight and leave it in the fridge. 

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