Monday, August 5, 2013

Pastry (Florence Fletcher)

Good day!

This post is going to be a quick one. It's more of an 'add-on' to last post (the Garden Quiche) and conveniently, this recipe is also from the kitchen of Grandma's friend, Florence Fletcher.

To it and at it...

The Recipe Card:

The Process:

Like most recipes so far - you start with a lot more lard than should be legal. Again, I use vegetable shortening instead of lard. I use a pastry cutter to blend it all and make it 'crumbly'.

The recipe calls for "1 egg (water for 1 cup)". Alright, what exactly does that mean!? I figured it meant that you put an egg in a measuring cup and then added water so that the contents equals 1 cup. I called my mom to confirm (I seem to use my 'lifeline' call every time I'm in the kitchen), and she agreed. So it was decided. 

Since there was little direction on the recipe card, I went with the standard - make a well in the dough and pour the egg/water combo in the centre. 

And it mixed up beautifully! This recipe makes 2 shells, so I cut it in half and covered one half with some plastic wrap while I worked with the other. 

I rolled it all out and laid it overtop of my pie plate. 

With a knife, I cut along the edge of the pie plate and scraped off the excess. At the advice of my mom (during the egg/water call), I handled the dough as little as possible. I had reserved some dough from this half to start working on the braids. 

Typically, this is where the recipe would end. You'd stuff your goods in there and you'd be off and running. Buuuut, because we live in a world of Pinterest and fabulous Bloggers, I couldn't stop there. I saw this really great pin one time where this woman had created a braided edge for her pie crust. Here's the process as I did it. 

With some extra dough, I cut 3 strips out (as straight as I could). Carefully pinch them together on one end.

So, I thought I remembered reading somewhere that you use egg yolk to help pastry stick together and use egg white to give pastry a nice golden-brown shine when baking. Turns out it's the opposite, so I basically just shined up the inside for no reason and didn't help myself at all with the 'stick' problem.

Squish the pinched end into the crust a bit and then just start braiding. Close your eyes and pretend it's hair if you need to. Though I will caution you, it can fall apart pretty easy! When you run out of a strip, cut another one and attach to the end of the original... Just keep on going until you're at the end.


As I mentioned, this recipe makes 2 pie shells (which I sure most recipes do), and I was NOT going to go through all that a second time. That's a one-shell kind of project. For the second one, I did the ol' fork-marks-in-the-crust trick and was done with it. 

The Recipe:

1 lb lard
5 cups Flour
1 egg (water for 1 cup)*
1 tbsp vinegar
3 tsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder

*See note below.

My Personal Notes:

  • I warned you that the ingredients were a tad surprising for pastry! But I also told you that it was absolutely delicious. Flakey without being dry! Yum. 
  • "1 egg (water for 1 cup)": I interpreted this as "crack an egg into a measuring cup and add enough water in to bring the contents up to 1 cup". If someone interprets this differently, please let me know!
  • Specific to the braiding as opposed to the recipe - The thinner the better, really. Mine were too thick and bulky. Also, there's no need to have the braid as 'tight' as mine, it makes for a lot of crust!

Try this recipe out with your favourite pie or dinner dish. It would be an amazing Tortiere pastry!

Well, there you have it - a great recipe and the added bonus of a peek through the window to my insanity when it comes to details :)

Up next, Mealoaf. Mmmm, who doesn't love meatloaf?!