The perils of pastry-making
What not to do
It takes practice and persistence to develop the necessary skills and confidence to make great pastry, as lots of things can go wrong in the process!
Here are a few examples of some of the pitfalls:
If the dough is overworked, it can become tough and difficult to roll out. This can happen if the dough is kneaded too much or if too much flour is added during the rolling process.
Shortcrust pastry can shrink during baking if it's not properly chilled beforehand or if it's rolled too thin. This can cause the pastry to pull away from the sides of the tin and lose its shape.
A soggy bottom can occur (as famously highlighted by Mary Berry!) when the filling of a tart or pie is too wet and the moisture seeps into the pastry, making it soft and unappetizing. Pre-baking the pastry for a few minutes before adding the filling can help to prevent this.
Shortcrust pastry can sometimes brown unevenly, with some areas becoming too dark and others remaining pale. This can happen if the oven temperature is too high, if the pastry is not rolled evenly, or if it's placed on a rack that's too high or too low in the oven.
Shortcrust pastry can crack or tear if it's rolled too thin or if it's stretched too much when being placed in the tin. This can be prevented by rolling the pastry to the proper thickness and handling it gently when transferring it.
So, wherever possible, it’s probably easier to leave it to the experts..
Help is at hand
Christian, Mud’s Chief Pie Maker, has spent thousands of man hours perfecting what has become known as his ‘legendary pastry’ and is frequently complimented on it and asked how he makes it and why it tastes like homemade.
“One big reason it’s so good is that we use butter – not margarine,” he says.
“The other major factor is that it’s made in the way my grandmother taught me, which takes time. We don’t use additives to bypass the process of relaxing it in the fridge. For us, it’s not about speed. We like to chill our pastry overnight before working it the next day. Then we chill it overnight again. So it’s rested naturally, which gives it the perfect texture.”
We think you can taste the difference but it’s what YOU think that matters.
Hear it from our pastry-loving customers
This is what Noreen F-H from Hertford had to say:
“Best pies EVER. The pastry is awesome, buttery and crisp never soggy - fillings plentiful and oh so tasty! We can’t get enough of them.”
And this from Tony R in Pencoed, South Wales:
“I am an 82 year old retired chef patisserie and I have made many pies over the years. I bought my first lot of pies from you and they are fantastic. I have just ordered a second batch. The pastry is very good and the contents are excellent. Well done to you and your staff.”
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