I first developed this pastry recipe well over 30 years ago, inspired by another pastry I had seen used and a demonstration of bakery products, I returned to work the next day and set about trying to recreate what I had seen, a day or 2 later tests went well and my sweet pastry was born. I came to understand the importance of the role of fat in pastry, the fat in this pastry being butter.
This pastry in incredibly tolerant and almost impossible to get wrong, it also has exceptional keeping qualities in the fridge in its raw state or even in the freezer. If the pastry is too soft when you come to use it, you can chill it to improve the rolling and handling qualities, as at room temperature in can be a little soft especially if just freshly made. In all the years I have been making this pastry it has proved 100% reliable and practical in every possible application for all kinds of sweets and desserts which require a sweet pastry element. People have often said to me this pastry is lovely it tastes like shortbread.
There are other ways to make sweet pastry that may have excellent results and eating qualities, using eggs or egg yoks etc , but none of them has the reliability and keeping qualities of this pastry. Become familiar with this pastry and its uses and you will make it again and again, for apple pies, fruit flans and tartlet's the list is endless, and I am proud to say once people try it they all want the recipe and in future recipes we will be using this pastry again and again.
Put the flour and Butter into a large machine bowl
Rub Fat and Flour together to sandy crumb texture, using the beater attachment on slow speed.
Put the sugar and water in a small hand bowl just to wet the sugar, we are not trying to dissolve the sugar it just needs to me wetted before adding to the flour and butter.
Add sugar and water mix to flour and fat and mix until smooth, and as you can see here it will come away clean from thesides of the machine bowl.
Remove from the machine and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge ready for use.
When you wish to use your pastry simply remove from the fridge and cut into chunks and slices and it will be ready to use in 15 to 20 minutes.
Sweet pastry being used to line a pie tin.
Production Notes;- This Pastry has a high fat content so it is quite soft when at room temperature and can be difficult for some people to use. In order to firm up chill the pastry in the fridge and as the fat hardens the pastry becomes easier to use. Also during mixing it is not possible to over mix, although extended mixing will produce a soft pastry, again in this case, place it in the fridge and it will firm up for easier handling. Uses;- All kinds of fruit pies, flans, tarts and tartlets, including Mince Pies.