Perfect pastry

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If you’ve followed this blog from day one you may well remember my abject fear or all things pastry. Pastry and I don’t, let’s say, get along too well. My mother would tell me I had hot hands, but I’m pretty sure I don’t – to the point where I’ve even run my hands under the cold tap to get them cool. But the other night something bizarre happened.I got out flour, butter, water and salt and put them together in a bowl. I mixed then, gently, with a knife and then with my hand. I kneaded it ever so slightly before chilling it in the fridge.

Then I began the rolling process – this is rough puff and thus requires the roll, fold, fold, fold, chill and repeat process. It was with some surprise that it all came together, it stretched, didn’t crack and was, well, rather good, if I do say so myself.

Then – mincemeat turnovers. I rolled the pastry into squares, filled them with homemade mincemeat mixed with a little clementine zest and toasted flaked almonds and then folded them over and crimped the edge.

They were brushed with a little egg yolk, then a good sprinkle of demerera sugar before baking in a hot oven until golden. A perfect Christmas pudding, with a spoonful of thick, luscious clotted cream.

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