Basic Recipes 101 – Sweet Pastry

Tart Shell

 

To get you started!

My fave Sweet Pastry recipe!

This recipe is what I remember of my tafe lecturers Pastry recipe a few years ago! Its simple and easy and works everytime!

Once you have mastered a beautiful pastry base, you can be as creative as you want with your fillings! Think of all the times you’ve been for a coffee and have been interested in the unique sounding pie flavours in the cabinet. Pecan and Chocolate, Rhubarb and Raspberry, Honey and Almond, Chocolate and Caramel Nut, Banana Cream…. with a little imagination you can make some delicious pies! Start off with this sweet pastry recipe and let your imagination run wild…

Sweet Pastry:

Tip: don’t over mix the flour in this recipe, to be safe, stop your mixture just before the ingredients are all combined and finish combining with your hands to ensure the pastry doesn’t shrink.

Makes: 1 large tart or 12 small tarts

Ingredients:

  • 160 grams butter
  • 120 grams cake flour (or plain flour is fine)
  • 80 grams castor sugar
  • 40 grams of egg (or 1 egg)
  • Extra 120 grams of cake flour (or plain flour is fine)

Instructions:

  1. Mix the butter, cake flour and castor sugar in a mixer on low speed with a beater to form a crumbly consistency
  2. Turn the mixer down to lower and add the egg slowly
  3. Add the extra flour until just combined, but do not over mix as this will cause the pastry to shrink later.
  4. Place the pastry in the fridge covered with plastic to allow to harden slightly (this allows the pastry to be rolled easily and not stick too much).
  5. Grease a muffin pan or pie tin(s) (depending on what size and shape you want)
  6. Roll out pastry in small amount to 5mm thick and cut out circles 88 mm wide (roughly a mug size wide, if you don’t have cookie cutter) sprinkle some flour on the work surface and the rolling pin avoid sticking.
  7. Place cut out circles into greased muffin tin and blind bake. Or if making a large pie, roll out an amount about 10mm larger than the pie tin over the tin using the rolling pin, or if you can pick up with hands, but be careful of the pastry tearing.

Blind Baking:

  1. To prevent them becoming soggy, shortcrust pastry cases need to be partially cooked before adding moist fillings. This process, known as blind baking, seals the surface and results in a crisp pastry case.
  2. Line the base and sides of an uncooked pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with rice. The rice only needs to cover the bottom of the pastry (no need to fill).
  3. This stops the pastry bases rising during cooking. Place on a baking tray and cook in an oven preheated to 200°C for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Step 2: Remove the pastry case from the oven and remove the baking paper and rice. Cook for a further 5-10 minutes until light golden.
  5. Once pastries are baked, remove from muffin pan immediately and cool on cooling wire.
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