JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, April 05, 2010

Pastry ... and a watercress tart

This weekend I have cracked pastry-making. Perfect every time (4x). And, of course, it's not rocket science; but it's satisfying, all the same, to be able to write it down.

Put into a processor bowl:

200g strong* white flour
100g cubed butter, preferably straight from the fridge, but, actually, it doesn't matter
1 egg
1 tbsp water

Blitz until it forms a ball.

Roll it out until it will cover a 23cm** tin. If you used warm butter, it will stretch to a larger tin, but you will have to roll it around your pin to put it in place, AND you will have to patch it more. Speaking of which, this pastry takes well to patching.

Put it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. All the pastry cases I made were rock hard when I put them into the oven, and this may well be a factor in their success.

Bake blind for 15 minutes at 190-200C, covered with paper and beans. The first time I gave the pastry an additional five minutes without the beans to dry it out.

You can press straight on, or leave the pastry to cool before going further. The custard will need to cook for 30 minutes, although you may need to turn it down a little for the last 10 minutes. Let it settle for 5-10 minutes before serving ... better for the tart, easier for the cook.

*strong flour is what you need for making bread, as it is full of gluten; this pastry is noticeably stretchy once it has come together in a ball .... so I think the flour is probably the secret

**A 23cm tin is just a bit too small for a 6-egg flan, but if the butter is warm and the pastry has stretched to a slightly larger tin, then the 6 egg mix is perfect: 2 whole eggs, 4 egg yolks, 500ml single cream poured over ... bacon for quiche Lorraine, or chopped watercress and a sprinkling of finely grated strong Cheddar, which I made for the vegetarians for Easter lunch but which was wolfed down by the carnivores too.

Related links

The shaken hot water pastry is an old French recipe. The olive oil pastry is good too.

Butterless pastry - and a fruit tart
Shaken hot water pastry
Olive oil pastry
Egg and bacon tart


marge said...

new to your blog and loving it although am only up to September 07 despite being glued to it over Easter hols
re your need for flavour in cauliflower cheese - have you tried a splodge of Marmite in white sauce? and our favourite beetroot recipe is Shorvedar Chukander in Madhur Jaffrey's 'Indian Cookery'- fabulous with low-fat yoghurt

Joanna said...

Marge, thank you for your comment, I am very touched by your kindness

What a good idea about the Marmite, I never use it in cooking, and I can't now think why that should be, as I LOVE it on toast. I've got a "best of" Madhur J book, so I'm going to looking your suggestion up in that, as I've got a lovely bunch of beetroot in the veg box, and it would be perfect for lunch with a little flatbread and yoghurt.

Thanks for the suggestions


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A nice tart! Very interesting with the addition of watercress.