cookbooks

Plain Short Crust. Recipe

History of Plain Short Crust:

Plain short crust is a classic pastry recipe that has been enjoyed for centuries. Its roots can be traced back to medieval times when cooks discovered the art of combining flour and fat to create a rich and crumbly pastry. Over the years, different variations of short crust have emerged, but the basic principle remains the same.

Fun Facts about Plain Short Crust:

1. Short crust gets its name from the fact that it has a "short" texture, meaning it crumbles easily. This is due to the high ratio of fat to flour in the recipe.

2. The combination of fat and flour in short crust creates layers of pastry that separate as it bakes, resulting in a light and flaky texture.

3. Short crust is incredibly versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It forms the base for many pies, tarts, quiches, and even some cookies.

4. Unlike other pastry methods like puff pastry, short crust does not require time-consuming folding and chilling. It is a quick and straightforward method that yields delicious results.

5. Although butter is the most commonly used fat in short crust, other fats such as lard or vegetable shortening can be substituted, each imparting a slightly different flavor and texture.

Now, let's get into the recipe for Plain Short Crust:

Ingredients:
- 1/2 pound of fresh butter
- 1 pound of flour
- 2 egg yolks
- A little powdered sugar
- Water, as needed

Instructions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

2. In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks and powdered sugar together. Add this mixture to the flour and butter, and gently mix everything together until it starts to come together.

3. Slowly add water, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to mix until the dough forms a ball. Be careful not to add too much water, as it can make the dough sticky.

4. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it gently for a minute or two until smooth. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to rest.

5. After resting, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

6. On a floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to your desired thickness. For most recipes, a thickness of about 1/4 inch is ideal.

7. Carefully transfer the rolled-out dough to a pie dish or tart pan, ensuring that it is pressed snugly against the sides and bottom. Trim any excess dough and crimp the edges if desired.

8. If using for a recipe that requires a pre-baked crust, prick the bottom with a fork before baking. Otherwise, follow the recipe instructions for baking times and temperatures.

9. Bake the plain short crust until golden brown, usually for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the recipe.

10. Once baked, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before filling or using as desired.

Similar Recipe Dishes:

1. Sweet Tart Crust: To make a sweet tart crust, simply add a tablespoon or two of sugar to the plain short crust recipe. This crust is perfect for fruit tarts and sweet pies.

2. Quiche Crust: The plain short crust can also be used as a base for savory quiches. Simply blind bake the crust before adding the quiche filling and baking again.

3. Pie Crust: Whether you're making apple pie or pumpkin pie, the plain short crust can be used as a classic pie crust. Just fill it with your favorite filling and bake according to the pie recipe's instructions.

Plain short crust is a tried and true recipe that every aspiring baker should have in their repertoire. Its simplicity and versatility make it a staple in both sweet and savory pastry dishes. So, don your apron and give this timeless recipe a try. Your taste buds will thank you!

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