Tired of the vegetable-trans-fatty puff pastry you can buy in the supermarket? Think puff pastry is too-hard? Then this is for you. Works wonderfully for a tarte tatin. This is a blend of three recipes that I’ve tried, none of which worked very well on their own.
Makes 1 batch
- 250g unsalted butter
- 250g plain flour
- A pinch of salt
- About 150mL of very cold water
- A mixing bowl
- A rolling-pin
If you have warm hands, chill them either with some ice, or under running under cold water for a few minutes. I do this a couple of times during the first stage of this, but you might have cooler hands than mine.
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, and add two-thirds of the butter in large chunks. Rub it in a bit, not so much that you have breadcrumbs, but enough that the chunks have been broken up a bit – when you roll it out, there need to be streaks of butter in the pastry.
Make a well in the centre, and add just enough of the water that you can form it into a firm dough. Don’t over-work. Form it into a ball, wrap in cling-film and stick it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Unwrap the ball, place it on a lightly-floured work surface, and press it gently into a rectangle-ish shape. Roll in one direction only until you have a rectangle about 3-times it’s width. Again, don’t over-work – there must be streaks of butter or it won’t puff.
Slice the remaining butter thinly and place the slices evenly over the dough, pressing it in gently, using a little more butter if needed. Fold the top-third of the rectangle down towards the centre, then the bottom-third up over that, trying not to dislodge the slices of butter. You should now have a square of dough. Give it a 90-degree turn and roll out again. Fold into thirds again, then cover with cling-film and put it in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until ready for use. There still should be a few streaks of butter at this point.
Just before use, roll the square out to the desired thickness (I like a good, thick pastry, so usually stop at about 5-7mm) and cut to shape. Any trimmings can be stacked and frozen to be used later, just don’t scrunch them into a ball.
Photos to follow.