Recipe – Sweet Tart Dough or Sweet Pastry

I am not very good at making pastry.  Some people say that you need cold hands to make pastry and dough, but I have warm hands as I seem always to be burning away all that food – perhaps I just never sit still or my metabolism runs too fast. 

So I asked our good friend, Anthony Sterne to come up with his easy pastry recipes and then for us to have a go at them ourselves.  Anthony used to be a development chef at Pret A Manger in London before setting out on his own, originally making pies and pastry with exotic fillings and has now branched out into quiches and (very successfully) into delicious cakes.  His business is called Independent Foods – originally I’s Pies – and his great creations are available in Booths, Morrisons and Waitrose, but in our opinion should be more widely available.  You can check his web site out at http://www.independentfoods.co.uk/

In Anthony’s words “this recipe creates a crisp, biscuity pastry that is perfect as a base for tarts or mince pies.  As long as the oven is well preheated it generally works really well without blind baking.  The most important consideration is to make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature (especially the butter and eggs) before starting.”

400g / 14oz plain flour
160g / 5.5oz good butter (softened)
140g / 5oz caster Sugar
2 large eggs (we only ever use free-range)
1 tsp Steenbergs Organic Vanilla Extract 

Use an electric mixer with the beater attachment or a bowl and a wooden spoon to cream the butter and caster sugar together.  The mixture should be light in colour and slightly fluffy in texture.

Beat the eggs and add gradually with the teaspoon of Steenbergs Organic Fairtrade vanilla extract, mixing all the time.  If the mixture starts to split, you can add a tablespoon of flour, however it shouldn’t split as long as everything isn’t too cold.

Once all the egg has been incorporated, you can add the flour and continue to mix until a smooth dough is formed.  The pastry should be soft but not sticky, if it sticks to your finger when poked just add a bit more flour.

You can leave the pastry in a cool place (not the fridge) for half an hour to relax although it is fine to use it straight away.  Roll out on a well floured surface.  It doesn’t keep well in the fridge as it becomes hard and unworkable although any excess is fine to make into shells and freeze for later use.



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3 Responses to “Recipe – Sweet Tart Dough or Sweet Pastry”

  1. I donโ€™t normally reply to posts but I am going to in this case.

  2. […] been given a great sweet tart pastry recipe by Anthony Stern from Independent Foods, I have recently come across an even better Sweet Tart Dough in Pierre Hermé’s book “Chocolate […]

  3. […] At Cannelle et Vanille, Aran Goyoaga made a summery sounding Fennel Leek and Arugala risotto (rocket to you and me) that has an intriguing layering of flavours with the anise of fennel and the peppery bite of the rocket, but what I was really drawn to was the link back to an earlier Chocolate Buttermilk Cupcake recipe that has that deep richness that I love in baking – I am not a fan of light, airy cakes, but need a bit more moistness and body to the things I bake and the buttermilk will give that.  Then, there is a to die for Pear And Hazelnut Tart that uses a gluten free pie dough, but you could substitute this for a sweet pastry per my recipe for A Simple Sweet Pastry Recipe. […]

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