I learnt to cook..taught as many of us were by our mothers and that's my mum in the picture....I will just say that my family love to tease me and do post pictures like this to torment me..ha ha.. 

This pastry recipe is the base for many pies or quiches both sweet and savoury......I still think my mum at 86 makes the best shortcrust pasty ever but she once told me that I might notice that this batch wasn't as good as the last I made but that no one else would..and as usual mums know best....I think I am my own worst critic.

My pastry making skills have been severely tested now I live in Thailand....One because of the heat and two because I cannot get the fat I would use in the Uk and 3 ..well as those of us who live here say TIT( This is Thailand) the thermastats on the ovens are not true....

I use half fat to flour so for example 8oz Flour and 4oz fat.

Ice cold water added one tbsp at a time( amount depends on flour used)

1 egg beaten for glaze.

I know that fat varies depending on where you live, in the Uk ..we are well spoilt for choice because we invented pastry…well from as far back as the Romans when it was crude flour and water wrapped around meat and game before cooking and no way would you eat it…it was to retain meat juices.

Over time pastry was enriched with fat and milk and began to vaguely resemble todays shortcrust.But living here in Thailand my choice is restricted…..I have a choice of pastry fat (unknown brand) or Crispo…sometimes I mix the two when making meat pies but I digress.

For sweet pies I use the pastry fat. When making pastry it must be kept cool which here is never easy ..so fat from fridge, iced water from fridge and fan madly whirring to keep the air cool..and me folks…I touch the pastry mix as little as possible , I quickly rub fat in flour to resemble breadcrumbs, add iced water gradually, draw together with your fingers to make a ball, if too dry add more water, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 mins in fridge.

When I roll my pastry out I use the heel of my hand to start to flatten pastry and roll gently out to desired thickness…I handle as little as possible to keep cool. 

Note: Some of you may have noticed I don’t add sugar to my short crust pastry…With the sweetness of the fillings and the icing dusting  I /we all feel it is sugar overload but personal preference if you like add 1 tbsp sugar to breadcrumbs before adding water.

I will be posting recipes using this pastry from time to time( so keep it handy) or you can try it using your own recipe. More recipes can be found on http://blondieaka.wordpress.com  I would love to see you there so please pop in :)


Published by Carol Taylor