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Shortcrust Pastry (makes 225g/8oz pastry)
This plain short pastry is probably the most widely used of all pastries. For shortcrust pastry, the proportion of flour to fat is 2:1, or twice the quantity. Therefore, for a recipe using quantities of shortcrust pastry other than 225 g (8 oz) simply use half the quantity of fat to the flour weight specified.
This quantity, is approximately equivalent to one 368 g (13 oz) packet ready-made shortcrust pastry.
225 g (8 oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
50 g (2 oz) butter or block margarine, chilled and diced
50 g (2 oz) lard, chilled and diced
Chilled water, to mix
1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and add the fat.
2 Using both hands, rub the fat lightly into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3 Add 45-60 ml (3-4 tbsp) water, sprinkling it evenly over the surface. (Uneven addition may cause blistering when the pastry is cooked.)
4 Stir in with a round-bladed knife until the mixture begins to stick together in large lumps.
5 With one hand, collect the dough mixture together to form a ball. Knead lightly for a few seconds to give a firm, smooth dough. Do not overhandle the dough.
6 To roll out, sprinkle a very little flour on a working surface and the rolling pin (not on the pastry) and roll out the dough evenly in one direction only, turning it occasionally. The usual thickness is 3 mm . Do not pull or stretch the pastry.
7 The pastry can be baked straight away, but it is better if allowed to ‘rest’ for about 30 minutes in the tin or dish, covered with foil or greaseproof paper, in the refrigerator.
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