Home-made Pastry Do’s and Don’ts
Tip 1: Keep everything cool as a cucumber
The first rule of making shortcrust pastry is to keep the ingredients, the bowl, the surface, and your hands as cool as possible. Run your hands under cold water before starting to mix pastry. If the butter or lard warms up too much, put the mixture in the refrigerator briefly to cool back down.
Tip 2: Don’t overwork the dough
Roll and handle shortcrust pastry as little as possible as overworking it can produce tough and unpleasant results.
Tip 3: Rest, rest, and rest again
Once the pastry dough is made, it must be wrapped in plastic wrap or greaseproof paper and rested in the refrigerator for a minimum of 15 minutes. Resting allows time for the gluten (proteins) in the dough to relax before baking.
Tip 4: Use a metal tart tin
When baking tarts choose a metal tart tin rather than a ceramic one to ensure the bottom of your tart is well cooked. Ceramic tart tins, though pretty, can cause soggy bottoms. This ensure crisp bottom pastry.
Tip 5: Don’t stretch
When lining your tin, be careful not to stretch the pastry as this will cause it to shrink back when cooking and could cause leaks.
Tip 6: Repair tears
If your pastry rips as you are lining the tin, don’t worry; simply wet your fingers or use a brush to moisten the edges of the tear and gently push them together so the gap disappears.
Tip 7: Allow a little overhang
To avoid the sides of your pastry shrinking too low and causing leaks, leave a little extra pastry hanging over the rim of the tin. You can trim it neatly with a sharp knife after it’s cooked.
Use these tips to make some out our wonderful pastry recipes below: