Posts Tagged ‘Dan Lepard custard tart’

Ever since my beloved neighbour June taught me to make her pastry a couple of years ago, I’ve used it exclusively for all of my sweet pies and desserts.

I used to make it by hand, rubbing in the butter and mixing in the eggs, until I discovered how much easier it is to use the food processor.  I get a much more consistent result as well, possibly a product of not overworking the dough.

Our food processor doesn’t live on the bench, so whenever I drag it out, I try to make a couple of batches of pastry dough.  It freezes very well, and can easily be defrosted in time to make apple pie for dinner!

The secret to June’s pastry is the icing sugar mixture she uses (not pure icing sugar).  I believe it’s also known as confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar in the US. I find using scales to weigh out my quantities always gives me the best result, but I’ve included approximate cup measures  in the recipe as well.

One thing – this can be quite a sticky dough, depending on the weather, the size of your eggs, and the amount of liquid your flour will absorb.  Please have some flour on standby in case you need to add a little – but try not to add too much or overwork the dough, or it will toughen up.

June’s Pastry

  • 225g (1½ cups) plain (AP) flour
  • 225g (1½ cups) bakers/flour or continental flour (June uses the latter)
  • 150g (1¼ cups) icing sugar mixture (confectioner’s sugar)
  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 2 eggs or 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks

Note: for instructions on how to make this pastry by hand, please see this earlier post.

1. Measure the flour and icing sugar, and then tip both into the bowl of a large food processor.

2. Add the cold butter, cut into chunks.

3. Pulse the food processor until the butter is evenly incorporated and the mixture looks like coarse semolina.  This will only take a few short pulses.

4. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 eggs (or 1 egg plus two egg yolks) briefly with a fork.  With the food processor running, pour the egg through the chute of the food processor.  The mixture will quickly combine into a ball of dough – stop as soon as this happens, and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench.

5. Gently work the dough together, adding a little flour if necessary, but handle it as little as possible to prevent it toughening up.  The pastry is now finished, and needs just a short chilling time in the fridge before rolling out.

As this can be quite a sticky dough, I usually roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper.  It’s the perfect foil for almost every sweet pastry dessert – I’ve used it for pies, galettes, slices and tarts.

Here it is in Dan Lepard’s Bay Custard Tart recipe

…and it forms the base of our ricotta cake recipe

The recipe makes approximately 900g of dough, which is enough for two apple pies.  I usually divide the finished dough in half and freeze it in plastic bags, in readiness for the next time Small Man has a hard day at school!

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