Recipe: Pastry

March 29, 2010 | See also: Recipe: Lard, Dietary Fat, |

This makes two pastry shells. Ideally, you'll need some lard (see here). If you don't have and don't want to make lard, don't use Crisco; use all butter.

Using lard (over butter) really does make a softer, smoother-handling pastry which is very flaky when baked. Definitely recommended. Lard from the fridge is about the same consistency as room-temperature butter. Saving the fat from your cooked bacon also works instead of lard, but not for fruit pies...just keep it in a jar in the fridge.

QuicheQuiche Two

Put in freezer:

  • 1/2 C cold water

Beat with a wooden spoon in a bowl:

  • 3/4C lard (or saved bacon drippings) + 3 T. butter (room temperature)

  • 3/4C butter (room temperature)

Mix in well:

  • 2 1/4C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Stir in (until sticky dough forms):

  • 1/2C ice water from freezer

With floured hands, divide dough in two and knead a few times on well floured counter. Form into flat disc about 1 inch thick (or so, not critical). Put in old ziplock or seran wrap and put in fridge for at least a couple hours (or days), the key being that as little pastry as possible is exposed to air. You can freeze pastry at this point theoretically, but I've never tried that.

When rolling out into a crust, also put a decent amount flour on both sides and the counter. I sometimes pre-bake the pie shells as many recipes recommend, but really don't see a difference (I've tried for quiches and pumpkin pies). If you do, put tinfoil inside the pie and FILL the shell with dried beans (or something else you can bake a re-use later).

If you do pre-bake a shell, make sure something pushes on every bit of the crust or it will puff up.

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