Monday, October 11, 2010

While the potatoes and venison were cooking I started on the pastry.
People over here seem to make a big deal about pastry and most people I know, buy the ready made pie crusts from the store. I don't know why it's thought to be such a feat. My grandma and Mum could throw together a pie in no time so I just never got to thinking of it as anything especially difficult.

For this one I measured a cup and a half of all purpose flour into a bowl, ( prefer self raising, but this was all I had) cut up about 3/4 of a stick of unsalted butter, then chopped it all up with that little metal gadget you can see in the picture. I think it's a cabbage chopper, but I find it works great for pastry. You don't have to get your hands in it and do all the rubbing of the flour and butter. And because the butter isn't chopped really fine, it makes what I call a "rustic crust". Kind of rough and imperfect.

After chopping up the butter and mixing it all up a bit, I added about a 1/4 of a cup of cold water. I just add a little bit at a time and mix up the whole mess with a fork until it resembles shredded rags. That's the only way I can describe it. It looks too dry to stick together, but it will stick together. If I add any more water it always ends up too wet, meaning I have to add more flour, and then the crust comes out heavy and lifeless. So, I always stop while it still looks a bit too dry.

Here it is rolled out. Actually, I didn't roll it, I just formed a bun and then kept pushing it out with the heel of my hand, turning it over every so often and flouring each side, to make sure it didn't stick to the pastry board. But I usually use a rolling pin.
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