Here is my mum’s recipe for simple pastry. She always used it for cheese pies which were my favourite growing up. Her mum (my grandmother) was always in raptures about how light and crumbly it was, and insisted on having it when she came to visit!
I use it for tofu and ale pies and vegan quiche. This recipe makes enough for a medium quiche or pie and you can scale it up or down for the size you want.
It’s important to keep the mix cold throughout or it may turn doughy and you want it to be crumbly.
- 350 g flour (white or wholemeal or a mix – your choice, I use 50:50).
- 150g margarine
- 1.5 tsp of salt
- approx 150 ml cold water (as required)
- Additional flour as required
1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Add margarine with a knife and cut into pieces. Then use just your fingertips (not your palms as they’re warm!) to rub the margarine into the flour. Ensure all flour is coated. Shake the bowl to bring large lumps to the top and break these down with your fingertips until you have an even ‘breadcrumb’ texture.
3. Make a ‘well’ in the middle of your breadcrumbs, and add the water a little at a time (make sure it is cold), stirring throughout. Add gradually, a tablespoon at a time, only adding enough water to combine all the breadcrumbs into one solid lump of pastry. Stop before it gets sticky. You may need to dust with more flour to get it just right. Remember to handle only with your fingertips to avoid warming it and making it doughy. You definitely don’t want to ‘knead’ it!
4. Roll out to the required size on a well floured board using a floured rolling pin, turning frequently and adding more flour as required. The flour is your ‘lubricant’ so use as much as you need to stop things sticking.
5. Your pastry is ready to use in a recipe, typically by placing it in a baking tray, and pricking it all over with a fork.