thingswithwings: parker smelling a delicious orange (lev - parker mmmm food!)
[personal profile] thingswithwings in [community profile] omnomnom
I thought I'd post this here, since folks are often looking for a good pastry dough and not finding it. If you're like me, pastry dough is largely unappetizing - often, when eating out, it's the thing you have to endure in order to get the good part of the pie or tart. But with this pastry dough, you'll be saying OMNOMNOM about the pastry as well as about the filling.

Megan's Grandma's Pastry Dough, aka Never Fail Pastry:

1/2 lb lard (I use proper baking lard, like, made from pig fat, so long as I am sure about the dietary preferences of the people to whom I am serving it. But vegan vegetable shortening works fine too).
1/4 cup margarine (any kind - baking margarine, the soft kind for spreading on toast, whatever)
3 cups flour (whole wheat, white, or spelt* - pastry flour is the best, or all purpose is fine. I've never made it with bread flour).
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold water

Cream lard and margarine together. With a lot of pastry recipes, it's important to keep have the fat cold while cutting it into the flour; with this pastry recipe, it helps to have the fat cold (the eventual pastry holds together better), but it's not necessary. It'll still work at room temperature, and it's much easier on your hands that way.

Add flour and salt and mix till crumbly. Add water and mix again (it's best to use your hands, or someone else's hands). It will have a cookie-dough like consistency. Wrap in wax paper and put in the fridge overnight (or for at least three hours if you're in a hurry). This makes enough for the top and bottom of a pie, or for two pie bottoms if you're making, like, pumpkin pie. Or for the bottom of a pie and a bunch of tarts that use up the leftover pie filling.

When you take it out of the fridge, be sure to give it a little time to warm up a bit before attempting to roll it, and it will roll beautifully and effortlessly. If you are impatient like I am, you will end up CURSING IT. You can totally leave it in the fridge for, like, a week or whatever, until you get around to actually making the pie. I've also left it in the freezer for a good month before getting around to rolling it, and it was fine.

Can also be used to make tarts (I just put the pastry into muffin tins to make shells) and savoury pies (chicken pot pie: awesome). The pastry is really flavourful and has a nice texture, but it's not in itself savoury or sweet, so can be adapted to any pastry circumstance.

* - when I've used spelt flour, the crust was a success and rolled fine, but was a good deal heavier. Which is to be expected.

on 2011-04-06 06:07 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] azurelunatic
When my aunt was last making shortbread, she wound up using the rotary grater to shred frozen butter like cheese. It was amazing. I am going to try and apply the technique to as many as possible things requiring cold, finely-divided grease as I can from now on.

on 2011-04-07 12:15 am (UTC)
somewhatbent: I made this pie (Apple Pie)
Posted by [personal profile] somewhatbent
Lard is the fat from which great goodness comes! For tenderness in some dishes (tortillas, especially) veg just doesn't quite substitute. Strong seconds on frozen fat for flakiness!

on 2011-04-11 03:30 am (UTC)
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] brigid
That's really interesting that it's lard and margarine, not lard and butter.

Thanks for sharing this! My go-to crust/pastry recipe includes vinegar and an egg. I should dig it out and share it... it's almost impossible to over work, and pretty dang flakey.

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