Double double, pasty toil and trouble


Shortcrust pastry was one of those things I learned to make without knowing what it was. I remember making chicken empanadas with my sister or making apple pie with my mom when I was around 12. So I thought, pasties…easy-peasy, right?

Wrong, oh, so wrong. It started smoothly enough. I decided to make leek and potato pasties as well as pumpkin pasties, since it’s Halloween (and no one does Halloween like Harry Potter). I gathered my ingredients (including a mad dash to the local farmer’s market for a pumpkin), cooked my filling, and did my pastry. It should have been smooth sailing from there. So what went wrong? I’m guessing I didn’t add enough water while mixing the dough; I was bit paranoid of overdoing it.That or I didn’t let the pastry rest enough time in the fridge. I did two batches of pastry, one for each kind of filling, following the basic recipe:

250g of flour (I used plain)

125g of chilled butter

pinch of salt

Enough iced water to bring the mixture together (no more than 100ml, according to Gordon Ramsay)

Mix the salt with the flour.


Rub butter into the flour using fingertips until it gets to a coarse breadcrumb texture.


Then, add the water a little bit at a time. Mix until it just comes together. Chill until ready to use.


Which is what I did but, for some reason, the first batch kept cracking while I tried to roll it out and once I cut a circle out it wasn’t what I remembered it ought to be. So I added a teeny bit more water and worked it into the dough. It seemed to help a bit, but I was still having issues rolling it out. So, in despair, I just packed it into a baking tray, stretched it out and baked it for a few minutes to make an open-top pie. The end result? Well, despite my fears of overworking the pastry, it was alright. A bit dry, but not tough.


I also added water to the second batch of pastry and it was left to rest in the fridge. Meanwhile, I prepared the pumpkin for the filling. This is my first time handling a pumpkin and it was tedious, to say the least. Scooping out all the seeds and the membranes took a good ten minutes. Cooking it in the oven took another 45 minutes. I scooped out all the flesh and pureed it in the food processor. I then followed the recipe on Geeky Chef’s website.

The end result were these ultimately pale-looking-but-not-bad-tasting pasties. An egg wash would have made all the difference. That said, I do need to work on my pastry more than I thought.


This post is part of the monthly blogging event Our Growing Edge. The aim is to connect our-growing-edge-badge
bloggers and inspire them to try new food-related things. This month’s host is Annika from We Must Be Dreamers with the theme: Halloween.


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