Here we go.
Winter is just ending here in the Southern Hemisphere, and with that, so is pie season. This is my go to pie pastry recipe which I graciously offer to my friends up north. It is based on a British pastry called 'Hot Water Paste', and is is similar to the pastry often used in traditional pork pies. It is great, it is simple, it is amazing.
You will need.
2 cups of flour
1 cup of water
0.5 cup of fat (butter, lard, shortening or any combination of those)
A teaspoon of salt.
One of the things that makes this pastry so wonderful is that the ingredients (and the quantities) are darn easy to remember.
Step 1: Step 1: Measure the Fat
Place your cup of water into a measuring jug and then add half a cup of fat.
Now, before you all berate me, and ask for an amount of fat in grams or ounces, measuring a solid fat volumetrically is pretty easy if you use the wonderful power of displacement.
As shown in the diagram, fill the measuring jug with a cup of water, and then add blocks of fat until the water rises to one-and-a-half cups. You've now added half a cup of fat. Like Archimedes in a bath. Congratulations.
Step 2: Step 2: Heat the Fat and Sift the Flour and Salt
Put your cup of water and half cup of fat into a pot and heat it on the stove over medium low heat.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together your flour and salt.
Step 3: Step 3: Combinded
OKAY! Now you have to move a bit quickly.
When the fat is melted, jack up the heat on the stove until the fat/water mixture hits a good bubbly boil. As it starts to boil, pour the molten slurry into the flour and begin to stir.
Something magical happens. The boiling mixture cause all the wonderful starches in the flour to open up ad the mixture combines into a semi-firm dough.
When the mixture is combined. Leave it alone for ten minutes. It needs a bit of kneading, but it is quite hot at the moment. Let it relax.
Step 4: Step 4: Knead, Wrap and Refrigerate
When the mixture has cooled down a bit, tip it onto a work surface/large cutting board. Lightly knead and combine the dough until it is a nice solid lump.
Before using it, wrap it in cling film and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes. You can leave it in the fridge for up to four day before use, however.
I will be posting a new inscrutable soon(ish) on a delicious filling option, and later on down the line a tutorial on how best to bake with it.
Enjoy, and have a warm winter.
Notes and things to think about:
- Fat is something to experiment with, and different fats produce different pastries. Butter is amazing because it is flavourful delicious wonderfulness, but I find that shortenings and lards have less water so they make for a firmer pastry.
- Although this only uses 4 ingredients, a variety of spices can be added to the pastry.
- You can use many filling options. Leftover stews and curries are great. Pulled pork is also amazing. You can also get medieval and wrap the pastry around a whole chicken and bake it for about 1.5 to 2 hours.