Friday, July 30, 2021

Foodie Friday- Pastry Update

 

I have a long and tortured relationship with pastry, I have written about this before, no reason to bore you with it. Having overcome my irrational fear of pastry, I am learning and exploring.  It is so much more fun when we leave our irrational fears behind.  

I am using Mary Berry's basic sweet pastry as a base and working from there.  Being from the American mid-west, putting an egg in pastry seemed strange, but it does add texture without making the pastry tough.  

All of the pastry gods, say to keep the butter cold, chilled.  Be careful to minimize the melting of the fat in handling.  I ran across a tip recently, freeze the butter, and grate it.  This way the butter is cold, and it is broken into smaller bits before you start blitzing in the flour. It works wonderfully.  

I store extra butter in the freezer.  Using this method, I don't have to remember to take the butter out of the freezer to thaw, but not get warm before I start.  The mix is faster, the result is very good.  

Try different butters.  For daily use we buy mostly Kerrygold Irish Butter.  We find it has a wonderful and consistent flavor.  During COVID it was sometimes in short supply, at times out of stock, and the price went up to reflect that.  I was forced to buy other butters (first world problems here.)  I found a domestic, danish style cultured butter that makes great pastry.  It lacks the flavor depth for table use, or cooking, but it makes a flakier pastry.  So my advice, experiment.  

The photo above, a Blueberry tart.  Pre-bake the tart shell. The filling is a pound of fresh blueberries, half a cup of sugar, a couple of heaping tablespoons of corn starch (corn flour), and about 3/4 cup of brandy.  Cook the filling over medium to medium high heat until the liquid forms a gel. Fill the par-baked tart shell, and bake in a 350-375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. Heavenly, and fruity. 

18 comments:

  1. The tart looks lovely.I have used Kerry gold Irish Butter for some time now for daily use too and love it. During the pandemic at one point I had to buy Blue Bonnet, as it was all they had left that wasn't in sticks. My one grandmother only ever swore by it. It wasn't bad.

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    1. My mother use Imperial for decades - nasty stuff

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  2. Frozen butter thaws pretty quickly in the fridge (a couple of hours) and doesn't get warm. If you remember to take it out the night before pie making, it's ready when you are. :)

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    1. I often decide at the last minute what I am going to cook or bake, that is an interesting thought, I consider myself planner, but not on that. I often don't decide what I am fixing for dinner until I walk in the kitchen an open the refrigerator.

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  3. I skipped the instructions and headed directly for the blueberry tart. Have you seen the pie pastries, you buy in the supermarket refrigerator section, unfold and bake? MY kind of recipe. Well, ok, MY kind of recipe is pie from the bakery… or one that someone else made!

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    1. I have used the folded or rolled pastry. I have never made puff pastry from scratch, I use the prepared stuff.

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    2. Check this out: https://wcs4.blogspot.com/2010/01/epihpany.html
      It's a pretty easy recipe and works for me every time.

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  4. I could probably follow your instructions but I would not be making my own pastry. The tart looks very nice. Luckily you didn't put a photo of yourself in the post that could have led to misinterpretation of my last remark.

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  5. Great grating butter tip. I'll pass it on to Carlos, who is the MasterBaker™ in our house!

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  6. I have never attempted to make pastry. Frozen pie/tart shells are what I use, LOL!

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    1. It can be fun, messy, challenging, rewarding. Sounds like sex.

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  7. I don't do homemade pie crusts anymore. I don't do blueberries, either. Why am I here? I enjoy others' enjoyment.

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    1. Cherries, will cherries work? I also did peaches one day - that was a little more challenging, brandy works well with peaches.

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  8. That looks and sounds delicious. I learned that butter trick from watching the Great British Baking Show.

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    1. That might be where I saw it,

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  9. Kerrygold Irish Butter is my 'house butter' too.
    Someone thinks it silly to buy it given the price but I think it tastes better than the bland stuff in sticks.

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