Puff Pastry

For Pies, Tarts, Tartlets, Bouchées, Vol-au-Vents, Patties, etc.

Cooking time—about 10–15 min.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 1 teasp. lemon juice
  • pt. cold water (approx.)

Method

Sift the flour and salt and rub in about 2 oz. of butter. Press the remaining butter firmly in a floured cloth to remove moisture, and shape into a flat cake. Add the lemon juice to the flour and mix to a smooth dough with cold water. The consistency of the dough must be the same as that of the butter. Knead the dough well and roll it out into a strip a little wider than the butter and rather more than twice its length. Place the butter on one ½ of the pastry, and fold the other ½ over. Leave in a cool place for 15 min. to allow the butter to harden.

Roll out into a long strip 3 times the original length but the original width. Fold the bottom ⅓ up and the top ⅓ down, half turn the pastry so that the folded edges are on the right and left. Roll and fold again and lay aside in a cool place for 15 min. Repeat this process until the pastry has been rolled out 6 times. The rolling should be done as evenly as possible and the pastry kept in a long narrow shape which, when folded, forms a square. Roll out as required and leave in a cool place before cooking.

Bake in a very hot oven (450° F., Gas 8)—the oven door should not be opened until the pastry has risen and become partially baked, as a current of cold air may cause the pastry to collapse.

To Make a Vol-au-Vent Case: Roll out the puff pastry to about ¾ in. thickness, and, with a cutter previously dipped in flour, cut into a round or oval shape as desired. Place on a baking-sheet, brush over the top of the pastry with beaten egg. With a smaller, floured cutter cut an inner ring, cutting the pastry to about ½ its depth. Bake in a very hot oven (450° F., Gas 8). When baked, remove the lid and scoop out the soft inside.

To Make Patty Cases: Roll out the puff or flaky pastry to a thickness of ⅛ in. and cut into rounds with a -in. or 3-in. cutter. Remove the centres from half of these rounds with a -in. or -in. cutter. Turn the pastry upside down after cutting. Moisten the plain halves and place the ringed halves evenly on top. Prick the centres. Place on a baking-tray and allow to stand for at least 10 min. in a cold place. Glaze the ringed halves and the small lids and bake in a very hot oven (450° F., Gas 8). When baked, remove and scoop out any soft inside part. If liked, the cases can be made as vol-au-vent cases, using smaller cutters.

To Make Horn or Cornet Cases: Roll out pastry thinly, then cut into strips ½ in. wide and 12–14 in. long. Moisten strips with water and wind round comet mould from the point upwards with moist surface on outside. Finish final overlap on underside of tin and trim neatly. Brush with milk and bake in the middle of a very hot oven (450° F., Gas 8).

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