Pastry

Nelie's Unbeatable Flaky Pastry

Julie Donald
Perfect pastry for pies (sweet and savoury)
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Chilling time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Baking

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg flour
  • 5 ml salt
  • 750 g butter and/or marg you can use butter or marg or a mixture
  • 3 egg whites keep the yolks for brushing the pastry
  • 30 ml vinegar
  • 500 ml ice water
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar

Instructions
 

  • Place flour and salt in a large bowl. Divide your butter/marg into 3 equal quantities (250g each). Set aside two of these to soften.
  • Rub or cut in the first 250g quantity of butter/marg to form a breadcrumb texture. This can also be done in a food processor on pulse.
  • Add the egg white, vinegar and water and mix with a fork until the mixture starts to come together. Once it becomes hard to mix, turn it all out onto the counter and knead lightly until if forms a soft, smooth dough. Set aside to rest for a few moments.
  • Divide the dough into 2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface (be generous with the flour).
  • Spread or dab 125g of soft butter/marg onto the dough and fold into thirds. Press lightly around the edges to make sure the butter/marg stays inside the envelope. Place this dough in a plastic bag or wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Repeat this process with the other half of the dough.
  • With the final remaining 250g butter/marg, mix in a generous pinch of cream of tartar.
  • Working with your first batch, roll out on a floured surface again. Roll in one direction to form a longish oblong. Spread or dab 125g of the cream of tartar butter/marg and fold into thirds again (pinching off the sides again). Wrap and chill for a further 15 minutes.
  • Repeat this with the other batch.
  • This pastry can be used immediately or frozen. Before use I like to roll it out and fold it into to thirds a couple of extra times to ensure maximum layers and puff.

Notes

A special thank you to Nelie Strydom for this recipe!

Palmiers

Crisp cinnamon pastry biscuits
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French

Ingredients
  

  • 1 batch puff pastry refer to recipe section for recipe or use pre-made
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon mixed with sugar

Instructions
 

  • Roll out the pastry to 5mm thickness and trim to a rectangle.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar generously on top of the pastry.
  • Roll the two sides towards a central line to make a scroll shape.
  • Slice the scroll into 1cm slices and place on a baking tray and press flat to maintain the shape.
  • Bake for 10 - 15 minutes in a hot oven 220°C until golden and crisp.

Notes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56nHTmINFVo
Keyword Palimiers

Pear and Frangipane Tartlets

Simple dessert that works with pretty much any fruit
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French

Ingredients
  

  • 140 g butter soft
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 140 g ground almonds
  • 2 ml almond essence optional
  • 1 batch puff pastry refer to pastry section for recipe or use pre-made
  • 6 pears thinly sliced
  • 25 g flaked almonds

Instructions
 

Prepare the Frangipane

  • Mix the soft butter, caster sugar, ground almonds, and almond essence if using
  • Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thickness and cut into tartlettes. Spread almond paste over each pastry shape.
  • Arrange the pear slices beautifully on top.
  • Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake in a hot 220°C oven for 10-15 minutes. The pastry should be puffed and crisp and the nuts lightly browned.

Notes

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56nHTmINFVo

Puff Pastry

Julie Donald
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 250 g butter cold
  • 175 ml iced water

Instructions
 

  • Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.   
  • Cut off about ⅓ of the butter and rub into the flour
  • Make a well in the centre and add about ⅔ of the water. Using a fork mix this mixture well together and once it starts to form a dough, add the remaining water if you think it is necessary. The dough should be soft but not sticky. 
  • Turn this dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (2-3 minutes). 
  • Roll this dough out into a square about 2cm thick. 
  • Place the butter between two pieces of grease proof paper and bash it with a rolling pin to flatten. 
  • Place the flattened butter in the middle of the pastry and fold all the corners inward around the butter like an envelope. 
  • Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface in one direction only to create a rectangle (2cm thick).  Brush off any excess flour and fold into three, towards the middle. 
  • Turn the pastry 90° and repeat.  Wrap up the pastry again and leave to rest in the fridge for a further 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process a further 2 more times at least. 
  • Once all your rolls-and-folds have been completed you can wrap up the pasty and store it in the fridge for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months (to defrost simply remove from the freezer and leave in the fridge overnight to defrost before use).

To bake:

  • Roll out your pastry for use (about 5mm thickness) shape and place in fridge before baking.
  • Brush with egg wash if a dark colour is desired.
  • Bake in a hot oven (200-220°C) until golden brown and cooked through.

Notes

Puff pastry is extremely useful and versatile. By doing the many “rolls-and-folds”, you should have created a dough that has many, many thin layers. When the pastry is heated the water inside the dough expands and the flour and butter cook to create a pastry that will rise very high (5-10 times its raw height). Puff pastry is best when baked from cold or even frozen. So cut out your pastry shapes well in advance and then place your baking tray in the fridge for an hour or two before baking. Brush the pastry with a little beaten egg to give it a more golden colour. When using leftover pieces of pastry don’t scrunch it up as all the layers/structure will be lost, rather lay off cuts on top of each other and re-roll. But do note that off cuts don’t rise as high.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56nHTmINFVo

Lemon meringue

Julie Donald
Perfect South African lemon meringue pie
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Baking

Equipment

  • 20cm pie dish or foil

Ingredients
  

Biscuit base

  • ½ packet tennis biscuits crushed
  • 2 tbsp butter melted

Filling

  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 125 ml lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs separated

Meringue

  • 150 g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • pinch creme of tartar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C

Biscuit base

  • Mix the crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into the base of your pie dish. Set in the fridge while preparing the filling

Lemon filling

  • Reserve the egg whites for the meringue
  • Mix the condensed milk, lemon juice and zest, and egg yolks together. Pour into the prepared base

Meringue

  • In a glass bowl, beat the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar with an electric beater, to stiff peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar, while beating, the meringue should be glossy and hold its shape.
  • Spoon meringue over the lemon filling and spread gently with a spoon.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
  • Chill and serve cold
Keyword Lemon Meringue

Choux Pastry

Julie Donald
Perfect Choux for profiteroles and eclairs
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Baking
Servings 24 puffs

Ingredients
  

  • 250 ml water
  • 125 g butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250 ml flour
  • 4 large eggs 250ml

Instructions
 

  • Place the water, butter and salt into a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add all the flour at once. Beat this mixture with a wooden spoon until it forms a smooth thick paste. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Beat in, using a wooden spoon, one egg at a time, making sure that it is completely incorporated, before adding the next egg. The resulting mixture should be smooth, shiny and have a pipe-able texture.
  • Pipe your éclairs, or profiteroles onto a lightly greased baking try with a straight nozzle (10cm long strips for the éclairs or blobs with a diameter of a R5 coin for the profiteroles – remember they will rise).
  • Splash a little bit of water over the tray by wetting your hands and shaking them over the tray. Bake for 35-40 minutes in a hot (200°C) oven until golden and puffed.
  • As soon as they come out of the oven poke a hole in them to allow the steam to escape, preventing them from turning soggy, and leave to cool on a wire rack. Fill with whipped cream or crème patisserie and glaze with a chocolate glaze.

Notes

Chocolate glaze:
To make the chocolate glaze, melt together over low heat in the microwave 25g butter and 50g dark chocolate. Use this to decorate the tops of your éclairs.
Keyword Choux, Eclairs, Profiteroles

Choux Pastry with Craqueline

Julie Donald
Amazing puffs with crispy topping
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Baking
Cuisine French
Servings 24 puffs

Ingredients
  

For the craquelin

  • 60 g butter softened
  • 60 g brown sugar
  • 60 g flour
  • 15 ml cocoa

For the puffs

  • 250 ml water
  • 125 ml butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 250 ml flour
  • 4 large eggs 250ml

For the creme patisserie filling

  • 250 ml milk
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 15 ml flour
  • 15 ml cornflour
  • 50 g sugar
  • 125 ml cream, whipped optional

Instructions
 

For the craquelin

  • Mix all the ingredients together and roll out between two pieces of plastic. Cut 24 2.5cm rounds and set aside

For the choux pastry

  • Place the water, butter and salt in a pot and bring to the boil.
  • Add the flour and stir until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pot. Set aside to cool.
  • Using a wooden spoon, stir in one egg at a time until completely combined. Pipe 3cm puffs onto a non-stick mat.
    Place one craquelin circle onto each puff and bake at 180°C for 35-40 minutes. They should be puffed and golden and starting to crisp.
  • When you remove the puffs from the oven poke a hole in each one to allow the steam to escape. Once cool fill with whipped cream or creme patisserie

Creme patisserie

  • Bring the milk to the boil with the vanilla. In a small bowl mix the yolks, flour, cornflour and sugar. Add this mixture to the hot milk, whisking all the time to prevent lumps. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, mixing all the time. This can be used to fill the puffs or if you prefer you can mix in a little whipped cream to lighten the filling.
Keyword Choux pastry, Craquelin, Pate a choux, Profiteroles