Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Short Crust Pastry with 25% less fat

I have always been apprehensive about handling pastry and even more so making it. I have only ever attempted making short crust pastry once, more than a decade ago and that experience was enough to stop me dead in my tracks.

Here I am again, taking up the challenge, all because I bought myself a pie maker. It was on special for $10 and too good an offer to pass up.

curry mince pie
Pastries are by nature quite fattening. I played around with trying to reduce the ratio of fat to flour as even a slight reduction in the fat content will help in the cholestrol and calorie count. In this recipe I have successfully reduced the fat used by 25 percent without affecting the flaky texture of the pie.

This short crust pastry was easy to handle and did not crumble . When baked the pastry was tender, flaky and crispy right through to the inside. I usually make a batch, pre-cut the pie tops and bottoms, and freeze them thus making the task of making the next lot of pies less tedious. We have used the pastry to make curry mince and bacon n' egg pies and they were delicious.

Makes 5 - 5" pies

260 gm flour
60 gm butter
40 gm shortening
¼ tsp salt
95-105 ml ice cold water
1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice (add to water)

1. Add flour, salt, butter and shortening to food processor. Cube the butter and shortening. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Sprinkle the water over the flour mixture. Pulse until it starts to clump together (fig 2). Pinch a little of the mixture between your fingers, if the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a little more water and pulse for 1-2 seconds more. It is very important not to overprocess the dough. Do not allow the pastry to form a ball in the food processor. The dough should not be wet or sticky.

3. Transfer the mixture to a plastic wrap (fig 3). Gather the wrap round the dough and flatten the dough to form a square (fig 4). Do not knead the dough.

making shortcrust pastry in a food processor

4. Rest dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

5. Roll and use as required. I prefer to roll mine using a pasta machine on the widest slot.

rolling short crust pastry
Note :
1. Pre-cutting all the top and bottom of the pie and freezing them individually makes it quick and easy to defrost.
2. Do not substitute butter for margarine as the latter has a higher water content which will make the pastry soggy.
3. Use the metal blade to process in the food processor.

shortcrust pastry pie
Tips :
1. It is very important to have all the ingredients chilled until very cold. After weighing out the flour and butter/shortening, I leave the food processor bowl with the ingredients in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill.
2. The entire mixing in the food processor should not take longer than 1 minute.
3. Handle the dough as little as possible.


Edith said...

wow this looks really flaky and delicious.

Sinner said...

Thanks Precious Moment.
Good to 'see' you :)

Unknown said...

Hi, I love your blog and had your recipes bookmarked in folder under your name :). I have a question for you, can I use this pastry for curry puff? I know you have recipe for curry puff but I just want to try this one. Thank you. SaoThai in VA.

Sinner said...

Hi pjm, you can use this pastry except it won't be as authentic as the curry puff pastry. And the other pastry is crispier too !

Amy Goh said...


I would really luv to try this recipe soon. May I check where do I get this filling recipe. The filling used here appears to be different from the beef curry mince.


Amy Goh said...


Another question? Do I need to prick holes on the base and on top of the pie before baking?

TIA again.

Sinner said...

Hi Amy, the filling is curry mince pie. That is my filling of choice. Different vegies. In my case, I do not prick holes either top or bottom.

Amy Goh said...

Thank you for making time to reply. Will try soon. :)

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