It was a truth that I had previously never doubted that I would never be any good at making pastry. "It's just too difficult" I thought, "It'll just always go wrong and then it'll be a waste". But then I thought - how hard could it be to make some harmless pastry. Turns out that all I really needed to do was roll up my sleeves and go for it.
It was a truth that I had previously never doubted that I would never be any good at making pastry. “It’s just too difficult” I thought, “It’ll just always go wrong and then it’ll be a waste”. But then I thought – how hard could it be to make some harmless pastry. Turns out that all I really needed to do was roll up my sleeves and go for it.
Turns out that I’m actually pretty darn good at making my own pastry. Not as an every day thing you understand – I’m not that committed, but certainly in a batch and ahead of schedule and freezing down portions for later use is right up my street and the kind of vision of effortless mid-week cookery that I can handle without working myself up into a frenzy!
That…and a really good basic pastry recipe. And I found one for a savoury pastry that I now swear by – so much so that I even have the confidence to play around with it and add flavours which means that the pastry becomes more of an integral part of the dish rather than just a case to hold something yummy inside of it!
The basic savoury recipe comes from Karen Austin’s magnificent “Lettercollum Kitchen Cookbook” (buy it here). The words “fool” and “proof” come to mind, as well as “crumbly” “buttery” and “delicious”. Master it (simple) and then play around with it and create really tasty dishes!
I came up with this delicious creation when the nights were still a little dark and nippy, but the days were warm enough to convince you that summer was on its way. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but from the way the summer in West Cork is shaping up so far this year, I might as well advice that you should have this as a staple on your menu until the fog and mist finally does one and Mr Sunshine comes back into our lives! To be honest, this is a dish to be eaten all the year round. Accompanied by a simple shredded gem lettuce salad dressed with fresh zingy lemon juice and you have a winning dinner all the way around!
Ingredients for the Pastry:
300g unbleached flour
150g chilled butter, diced
1/2 tsp salt
100-150ml ice-cold water
1 tblsp fresh chopped rosemary
Method for the Pastry:
When making this pastry, Lettercollum advises that everything should be cold! Cold hands, cold butter, cold surfaces etc.
Put the flour, salt, rosemary and butter into a food processor and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed throughout, but not to over do it.
Then add the water a bit at a time and pulse inbetween until it comes together. Doesn’t matter if there’s a few bits hanging around in the food processor once it starts coming together, as you can push that together afterwards. Again, it’s advised not to overdo this part.
Take out the pastry, push it all together in a ball using the ball of your hand and then flatten into a disk, cover in parchment paper and place in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.
Ingredients for the Filling:
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