(Hi Dr Nick)
Hope you didn't miss me too much over the Christmas period, and I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and an excellent new years.
As we learned last year in this post, I make a pretty mean mince pie. However, this year I set myself a new challenge, which provoked the great pastry debate. I wanted to see what the difference was if you make a pastry with lard instead of with butter as I am used to.
SHORT-CRUST, PLAIN. (For Pies, Tarts, etc.)
INGREDIENTS - 1/2 lb of flour
3 oz of lard, clarified butter or dripping
1 teaspoonful of baking-powder (heaped)
1/4 of a teaspoonful of salt
1/4 of a pint of water
METHOD - Pass the flour, salt and baking-powder through a sieve into a large basin, then rub in the fat, add the water, and work into a smooth paste with a knife. Roll out to desired shape and thickness and use at once. When required for fruit tarts, 1 tablespoonful of sugar should be added to the above ingredients.
TIME - About 1/4 of an hour. SUFFICIENT for about 1 medium-sized tart
SHORT CRUST PASTRY (my recipe)
4 oz (125g) of plain flour
4 oz (125g) of SR flour
4 oz (125g) of butter
2 oz (60g) of castor sugar
1 pinch of salt
About 3 tablespoons of water
METHOD.- Put butter, flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Turn on and process until it resembles bread crumbs, add egg yolk, and process, add water a little at a time until the mixture forms a ball of dough whirling round the mixer. Remove and roll out on a floured board/bench top. Then use or refrigerate until required (no more that 1 day)
And here they are:
Personally I prefer the butter ones. The lard ones took a few days before they stopped tasting really lardy...but after that they were very nice. I found the lard pastry to be much shorter (probably due to the lower fat content) but would be really good for a savoury pie.
In the grand scheme of things then, the real difference is - not much. I'm calling it a tie.