The Domestic Goddess Finally Masters Pastry!

Meat and potato pie - whole 04.11.09One golden pie crust, ready to be sliced open!

It’s been a long-standing joke in our family that despite the fact that cold hands are best for making pastry and I usually have the iciest hands south of the North Pole, I’ve never been able to master the art of pastry-making. No matter how hard I tried, it always came out tasting slightly less appetising than cardboard, and it’s been an annoyance to say the least! Even the other day, when I decided to try making a Quiche, it was, I felt, my pastry that let me down. But no more! I hope that never again will I have to suffer less-than-gorgeous pastry because I believe I’ve finally mastered it!

I took the basic Be-Ro short crust pastry recipe that I used for the Quiche and tweaked it slightly. I knew I’d need more pastry this time round, so I had to increase the amounts, but I also changed things ever-so-slightly!

Original Recipe:
8 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
2 oz lard
2 oz butter
2 tbsp cold water to mix

My Recipe:
12 oz self raising flour
pinch of salt
6 oz vegetable lard
4 tbsp milk

I did the usual mixing of the flour and salt, then rubbing in the fat, followed by chopping in the milk to mix and lightly kneading the dough. Then I wrapped it in clingfilm and popped it in the fridge for half an hour before rolling it out.

In the meantime, my filling was cooking – I had decided to make a meat and potato pie (just like the ones my Grom always makes at holiday dinners), so I had a steamer full of potatoes cooking, a medium onion diced and a small can of corned beef all diced and ready to go. I mashed the whole lot together ready to pop in my pie case.

After rolling out the pastry to about 1/2 cm thickness, I lined the lightly greased pie tin, spooned in the filling and laid the pie lid on top. Then I used a fork to poke a couple of holes in te top and brushed some milk over the whole thing. THen it went into the oven at 190C for 45 minutes and came out absolutely perfect!

The pastry is a beautiful golden colour and has a lovely light texture as well as being very tasty indeed! The filling is fluffy and meaty, and overall the pie is as perfect as I could have hoped it to be!

So, by simply switching the type of flour, using all vegetable lard instead of half-and-half butter and lard, and using milk instead of water, (as well as plunging my hands into icy cold water before handling!) I’ve gone from cardboard to heavenly slice in one fell swoop!

Meat and potato pie - slice 04.11.09A perfect slice of pie!

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2 responses to “The Domestic Goddess Finally Masters Pastry!

  1. just now read this post, and have to agree about the “cold” hands; I’ve always wondered why my pastry didn’t always quite make it! LOL:::now I know.
    anyway, your recipe is almost identical to one I make, only I use ICE COLD water. (mind you, I live in another country and at a higher altitutde).
    well done on your pastry, you’re now on your way to becoming a Mistress of Pastry.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ana Luisa. 🙂