Pastry should usually be made with a very fine wholemeal flour, such as the “Nu-Era.” There are times, however, when concessions to guests, etc., demand the use of white flour. In such an event, use a good brand of household flour. The more refined the kind, the less nutriment it contains. Never add baking-powders of any kind.
The secret of making good pastry lies in lightly mixing with a cool hand. If a spoon must be used, let it be a wooden one. Roll in one direction only, away from the person. If you must give a backward roll, let it be only once. Above all, roll lightly and little. The quicker the pastry is made the better.
2. PUFF PASTE.
1/2 lb. fresh-butter or 6 ozs. Mapleton’s nutter, 1 yolk of egg or 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 lb. flour.
If butter is used, wrap it in a clean cloth and squeeze well to get rid of water. Beat the yolk of egg slightly. Put the flour on the paste board in a heap. Make a hole in the centre and put in the yolk of egg or lemon juice, and about 1 tablespoon of water. The amount of water will vary slightly according to the kind of flour, and less will be required if egg is used instead of lemon juice, but add enough to make a rather stiff paste. Mix lightly with the fingers and knead until the paste is nice and workable. But do it quickly!
Next, roll out the paste to about 1/4 inch thickness. Put all the butter or nutter in the centre of this paste and wrap it up neatly therein. Stand in a cool place for 15 minutes. Next, roll it out once, and fold it over, roll it out again and fold it over. Do this lightly. Put it away again for 15 minutes. Repeat this seven times! (I do not think many food-reformers will have the time or inclination to repeat the above performance often. Speaking for myself, I have only done it once. But as no instructions about pastry are supposed to be complete without a recipe for puff-paste, I include it.) It is now ready for use.
Do not forget to keep the board and pin well floured, or the pastry will stick. If wholemeal flour is used, it is well to have white flour for the board and pin. See also that the nutter is the same consistency as ordinary butter when kept in a medium temperature. If too hard, it must be cut up and slightly warmed. If oily, it must be cooled by standing tin in very cold water.
3. SHORT CRUST.
1/2 lb. flour, 3 ozs. nutter or butter.
Rub the nutter or butter lightly into the flour. Add enough cold water to make a fairly stiff paste. Roll it out to a 1/4 inch thickness. It is now ready for use.
4. APPLE CHARLOTTE.
Apples, castor sugar, grated lemon rind, butter or
nutter, bread-crumbs or