As a savoury fan, I love pastry but it can be one of those recipes that either turns out great, or goes horribly wrong. It’s something that I’ve got wrong many times over the years but I’ve now found a recipe that never fails and it’s from my favourite Bero recipe book. The book offers recipes for rough puff and flaky pastry, but the type I love the most is shortcrust. It’s ideal for quiches and pies and can easily be converted into a sweet pastry for tarts and desserts. Here’s the famous recipe and how I like to use it:
Ingredients: 225g plain flour, pinch of salt, 50g lard, 50g margarine (though I like to use 100g margarine and it works out fine), approx. 2 tablespoons of cold water to mix, 25g caster sugar if making sweet pastry.
- Mix flour and salt in basin (add sugar if making sweet pastry), rub in fat
- Using a knife to cut and stir, mix with cold water to form a stiff dough
- Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly
- Roll out and use as required
When I’m making a pie, it’s fine to just line a greased pie dish with pastry, load in your pie filling and then pop a lid of pastry on top and pinch the edges together. I always brush with milk, or if you have a spare egg yolk you can brush this on to glaze the lid of the pie for a golden finish. When I make a quiche I like to partially bake the pastry in the flan tin before I add my eggy filling, so that it stays crispy and doesn’t absorb so much of the quiche mixture.
First grease a flan case and lay the pastry over it. Press the pastry into the sides of the tin and cut away the excess around the top edge with a knife. You can use baking beads while ‘blind’ baking the pastry case, or line it with tin-foil and weight it down with dried pasta or rice, like I do. Bake it like this for around 5-10 minutes, checking it regularly. The pasta will end up all crispy and inedible so chuck it out and remove the tin foil before filling up with your quiche mixture. This ensures that the pastry will be less gooey from the egg mix – and the thinner that you roll out the pastry, the crispier it will be!
This same pastry recipe can be used for pies, cornish pasties, quiches, jam tarts, mince pies, sausage or cheese rolls and anything else you can think of that uses pastry! Here are some recipes from my archive that I’ve used this wonderful pastry recipe with (images below, links in pink above). Please let me know if you try any of these recipes out!