Thursday, 13 March 2014

Cooking with my Daughter - Shortcrust Pastry and Apple Pie

My daughter finds cooking so enjoyable,  it's lovely to have a shared interest with her.  Following her successful Banana Muffins, we decided it was time for her to have a go at making her own pastry.

It can be quite tricky to make pastry, using chilled fats and water are essential, and my little girl found it a challenge when rubbing in the fat to use only her finger tips, and to keep her hands cool by running them under the cold tap.  She persevered and her pastry was wonderfully short, it made a most perfect apple pie.

Shortcrust Pastry

225g Plain Flour
pinch of salt
50g butter
50g lard (you could use a vegetable fat or more butter- but lard does make the pastry very short!)
chilled water

Sieve the flour and salt

Rub in the butter and lard, this is best used chilled, and try to keep hands cool too

Form the pastry with the chilled water, try not to make it too wet

Put the pastry in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.  We left our's overnight.

Homemade Apple Pie

Role out half the  pastry and line a  greased pie dish with it

Peel and cut (in rough chunks) four or five Bramley cooking apples, layer them in the pie dish

(you may add cinnamon, cloves and sugar for flavour, between each layer of apples)

Role out the remaining pastry and fashion a pie lid, use beaten egg around the rim to seal the pie, and more on top to make a glaze

Cut a small hole in the top of the pie, and decorate with scraps of pastry if wished

(we used a mini leaf cutter to make some leaves, I wish I could have done some free hand as I had seen Rory do at Ballymaloe!)

Bake in a warm oven for half an hour

Test that the apple is cooked, and cover the pie with foil if more time is required.

Sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with lashings of cream or ice cream.

A little heavy handed with the sugar, but a pastry brush
remedied the situation

We used lard in this pastry, but you could use all butter,
or a vegetable fat if you prefer

After measuring the flour it was sieved

The lard was difficult to cut into small cubes and keep

Using her fingertips for rubbing in the fats

Gently bringing the pastry together

The pie was a delicious as it looks


  1. Rubbing in pastry must be such a challenge for little fingers, I am too lazy to do it myself now - often employing the magimix!!

    Beautiful pie, I feel guilty now not cooking with Ted often enough lately.

  2. It was a challenge! But amazing sense of satisfaction with the finished result, she's a little older then Ted so it's easier then it was.

  3. I'm sure the whole family must have been delighted with the result!

  4. Apple pie is one of my favourites and short short pastry just makes it. Its so nice to be able to make the pastry in advance, to make a pie and the pastry is already made and you just take it from the fridge is somehow one of my little joys in life. Funny how such the smallest of things make us happy!
    My mum would always cut her leaves by hand (probably because she didn't own a cutter) although they were not perfect in size it always looked so lovely and homely. What a great effort I bet you were both very proud of yourselves.


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