Thursday, 1 December 2011

Pâte Brisée - shortcrust pastry

Is there anything finer than a perfect shortcrust pastry? It is simplicity itself. Perfectly light and buttery, crisp and golden brown. The savoury taste lends itself equally well to a rich and creamy quiche or a sweet treacle tart. And if you want to perfect your pastry I really can't recommend Michel Roux's Pastry Savoury and Sweet highly enough. His recipes have never failed me. His explanations are clear, concise and enticing. You can use a processor to combine all the ingredients together but be careful to only use the pulse function as overworking the flour will toughen the pastry.

Wild mushroom and tarragon tart

I chose his Pâte Brisée for the wild mushroom and tarragon tart that I made for my recent supper club starter. I hope you enjoy it.
  • 250g plain flour
  • 150g butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
  • 1sp salt
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold milk
  1. Heap the flour on the work surface and make a well in the middle. Put in the butter, salt, sugar and egg and slowly mix and cream the central ingredients together with your finger tips.
  2. When the mixture is combined slowly draw in the flour by working gently and quickly with your finger tips. The mixture will be starting to clump but will not yet be wet enough to stick together
  3. Add the milk slowly at this stage and once it starts to hold together, use the palm of your hand to push the dough away from you 4 or 5 times. Once fully incorporated into a dough, wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.