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Irrational fear of making pastry?

(28 Posts)
yeahyeah Fri 19-Sep-08 11:27:48

Anyone else have this? My grandma was amazing at it...but no one has ever properly taught me..have failed at most recent attempt. Seems you better master it if you're going to do it, find it frightening beyond belief. Anyone got any tips, or even moral support? (am a bit more confident about normal things...think this must represent "home making" to me.)

dustystar Fri 19-Sep-08 11:29:13

Its important to keep the ingrediants cool. I often put mine in the fridge for 1/2 hour before rolling out.

cupsoftea Fri 19-Sep-08 11:29:53

cold hands as well

yeahyeah Fri 19-Sep-08 11:31:11

what kind of shortening do you use? Butter? That vegetable stuff looks a bit grim...(clueless you see...)

midnightexpress Fri 19-Sep-08 11:31:20

Use a food processor.

Stick it in. Turn it on. Turn it off. Chill in clingfilm. Done.

Katisha Fri 19-Sep-08 11:32:14

Have you got a food processor? Chuck everytihng in and it needn't be touched by human hand. Comes out really well.

dustystar Fri 19-Sep-08 11:32:46

I find the block butter works best. My Mum uses 1/2 butter and 1/2 lard and makes fantasic pastry - much better than mine.

JacobsPrincess Fri 19-Sep-08 11:33:42

I too fear pastry (wonder if there is a technical phobia term for it...) What i really hate is the breadcrumbing bit and getting it under my nails. Can't play with playdough for the same reason.grin
I've taken to using food processor too, but you still have to keep everything chilled.

JacobsPrincess Fri 19-Sep-08 11:34:28

Oh, yes. Lard is the best thing for light pastry.

yeahyeah Fri 19-Sep-08 11:35:26

The fear for me is in serving it...MIL commenting is not as good as hers, blah blah...actually must secretly want to be an amazing pastry chef, and it's killing me that I don't know how to do it. guess need to keep trying, just feels so wasteful when it all fails!

Overmydeadbody Fri 19-Sep-08 11:35:29

minimum contact with pastry is key, and cold everything.

A food processor is good.

Overmydeadbody Fri 19-Sep-08 11:36:19

recipe works every time.

Chilling before using is also important.

yeahyeah Fri 19-Sep-08 11:38:06

thanks for link. And what kind of pie dish works best, glass?

EffiePerine Fri 19-Sep-08 11:43:16

I use one of these for rubbing in - my Nana swore by them and she made the best pastry I know. Great if you have warm hands.

www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=pastry+blender&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=697177749&ref=p d_sl_8k7q8hfqkc_e

TheBlackPearlDragon Fri 19-Sep-08 11:45:59

even Nigella Lawson recommends buying the ready made stuff from the chiller cabinet

PuppyMonkey Fri 19-Sep-08 11:47:26

Gets stuck up your nails - that's what I don't like... shock

Katisha Fri 19-Sep-08 11:48:13

FOOD PROCESSOR!!!

Rubyrubyruby Fri 19-Sep-08 11:48:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EffiePerine Fri 19-Sep-08 11:48:49

well use a pastry blender! Much much easier (and cheap).

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 19-Sep-08 11:54:56

Surely the point is that even if it doesn't turn out perfectly, whatever you make will be 6 times as nice as any readymade pastry product you buy, if only because yours is likely to be fresher and more buttery.
I reckon if I just do it in the food processor I haven't invested that much time and effort in it so there's no pressure really.

snowleopard Fri 19-Sep-08 12:08:06

I'm sure it's awful for you, but sorry I rofl at pastry being "frightening beyond belief" - sorry blush

I actually don't agree with Kathy - jus-roll shortcrust readymade pastry is pretty tasty - and you can even get it ready-rolled. However here is my foolproof pastry method -

Half fat to flour (so 8oz flour needs 4 oz butter - or 4 oz of fat made up of a mixture of butter, margarine, shortening etc). Plain flour.

The butter needs to be cold and hard but don't worry about the rest.

Flour in a bowl.

Take block of pastry and coat in flour. With a sharp knife, slice the butter into thin slices into the flour. Coat all the slices in flour by swishing them around, then gather together again, so the block shape is recreated, but made up of slices interleaved with flour.

Now take knife and shave off slivers of this block at the corners, turning the block so you can keep shaving off tiny bits. The flour stops them sticking to the perfectly separated slivers all fall into the bowl.

Now stir with a normal butter knife - instant breadcrumbiness, no need for getting your hands in.

Add cold water (about an eggcupful for 80z flour, add a tiny bit more if necessary) and use knife to mix until it clumps together, then gather into a ball with your hands, using more flour to stop stickiness.

Wrap in clingfilm, into fridge for half an hour, then ready to roll.

For extra-luxurious pudding pastry (eg for mince pies), add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to the flour, and use a beaten eg instead of the water.

FWIW I was crap at pastry for a long time, until I developed this method and now it always works.

snowleopard Fri 19-Sep-08 12:09:13

Aaargh why don;'t I preview? Para 6, that should be "block of butter" not pastry

Kathyis6incheshigh Fri 19-Sep-08 12:10:18

Oh I was thinking of pre-made pies, tarts etc really Snowleopard - you may well be right about the pre-made pastry itself.

Luxmum Fri 19-Sep-08 14:29:51

Glass dishes are shite, they dont get the pastry hot enough to cook the bottom - always use metal tins in my opinion, always use full butter, and chill it like everone says. Baking blind is good for crisping up the pastry before adding the filling, though I still need to master the whole stop-it-shrinking-in-the oven-thing..
Good luck!

RhubarbEatsBiscuitsOnTheBog Fri 19-Sep-08 14:37:56

I fear that in this current climate of economic instability, pastry may be considered by some to be a luxury item. After all, with more and more shoppers now heading to Aldi for their weekly groceries, the encasing of a pie is deemed to be unnecessary. Therefore a new dish is being spoken of in certain high class restaurants. The uncrusted pie. Now the uncrusted pie is a lot like the pies we all used to eat before the credit crunch, but now with every penny being counted and horded away under the floorboards, the uncrusted pie has made the frivolous gesture of abandoning the outer pastry casting. So what, in effect, you have is the inside of the pie without the pie. So much more sensible and actually much healthier!

So embrace your fear of making pastry, because pastry will soon appear only in museums to remind the common people of how we used to eat.

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