I have always been scared stiff of pastry. Not of eating it, but of making it. Making one’s own pastry had always seemed the lofty heights of home-baking.
What a load of nonsense! This has to be the simplest thing, after flatbreads, that I have made. Really good butter pastry is not cheap to make (or buy ready-made come to that), but it is quick, easy and yummy.
Any recipe which contains 5 or fewer ingredients, takes 15 minutes or less to prepare, and which involves no (or very little) kneading, has my vote!
Quick and Easy Pastry
Stir 1 medium or large egg together with 160g (5 1/2 oz or 1 1/4 stick) of softened butter.
Then mix this together with 250g (9oz or 2 cups) plain flour and 1 tsp salt. When almost amalgamated , add 1 tbsp milk and make sure it is well mixed. Knead it just a few times.
Rest the pastry for at least one hour (preferably in the fridge for easier rolling-out).
If you’re baking a tart or pie, roll out your pastry and line the tin or dish with it, then brush with a little beaten egg and bake blind for ten minutes at 200 degrees before adding your filling. If your rolled-out pastry is falling apart when you lift it up, never fear, this is normal. Try cutting it into strips or smaller sections and then squidging it back together once it’s in the dish. Remember, Mary Berry is not coming for dinner, and it will taste just as delicious.
For my Tarte Provençale above (aka Posh Pizza):
Spread some Dijon mustard thinly across your pastry, then layer plenty of thinly sliced tomatoes, followed by grated emmental, dried Herbes de Provence (or Basil, Oregano, Thyme etc) and a drizzle of olive oil. Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until the crust is golden and the cheese has begun to melt. Yum.