Shortcrust Pastry – a guide and recipe!

‘So, first the basics: how to make a good pastry. Once you’ve mastered this, the options are endless – you can turn it into anything – a humble creamy Chicken & Leek Pie, Baked Goats Cheese & Sweet Red Onion Tartlet, Quiche Lorraine…

Soften 250 grams of butter, about 30 secs in the ‘jukebox’. Put into a large bowl with 500 grams of plain flour, one egg and a splash of milk. Beat the ‘bejezus’ out of it with the back of a spoon until it all comes together as a dough that’s soft and supple. Wrap in cling film, put in the fridge for about 20 minutes and you got some decent, workable pastry.

…Now you’ve made the pastry – try this!


• 2 chicken breasts, diced
• 2 rashers of back bacon
• 1 leek, chopped
• 1 onion, finely diced
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 200ml double cream
• Sprig of tarragon (leaves stripped from the woody stalk)

How to make it:
1. Place all ingredients into a hot saucepan with a dash of oil and a knob of butter on a medium heat and sweat the ingredients stirring occasionally to prevent any of it sticking to the pan.
2. After about 5 minutes, all the ingredients should be sealed and starting to soften so add 200 ml of cold water and reduce until the liquid is almost gone. (Doing it this way actually creates a type of stock, so no stock cubes required!
3. Then to finish add the double cream and let the mix thicken slightly.

Add to pastry base, egg wash around the outside edge, pop the lid on, trim and egg wash the top.
4. Bake at 180 degrees for approx 20-25 mins or until the pastry is golden brown! Serve up with carrots, peas and a good helping of mash!’


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