Getting the basics right means success when you move on to more complicated recipes. And having a basic shortcrust pastry recipe in your repertoire will serve you well for all sorts of savoury tarts and pies.
When it comes to our house, I am a firm believer of spending our money wisely. I would rather wait for something than put in a cheap alternative. This is very evident in how long it has taken us to complete the building project. But when you look at the finishes you can see we have invested in good quality. We have also ensured that the actual building was done to the same level. This meant a lot of reinforcing steel went into the wet work. Despite this, we have a lovely settling crack that took over 10 years to show itself. I suspect this has something to do with the rain after our years of drought. And the rain has caused another problem which I hope will be resolved cheaply. Our balcony is above the guest bedroom, and it tiled. It was waterproofed before the screed went down.
And the screed was painted with a waterproof sealer before the tiles were laid. But now, with the heavy rains we have had, there is a leak into the guest bedroom. This is so frustrating as the room will need to be painted, and the ceiling sorted out. But the cause of the leak is the most worrying part. The tiling company has suggested that the grout may have miniscule cracks which one cannot see. But which are causing the leaks. Dave has sealed the grout and now I am waiting for a decent rain fall to see if this has solved the problem. If not we are going to have to lift the tiles and re-waterproof the balcony. And then put new tiles down. This is not the option I would choose so I am crossing fingers that the sealing works.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
Basic Shortcrust Pastry
- 225 g flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
- 50 g cold, salted butter, cubed
- 50 g cold lard, cubed
- 50 mls cold water
- Place the flour into a mixing bowl and add the butter and lard
- Rub in using your fingertips then sprinkle the water over the top of the flour
- Mix in using a butter knife and then press into a ball
- Tip out onto a piece of cling film, cover and place into the fridge for 30 minutes
- Roll the pastry out to 5mm thick on a lightly floured surface
- Gently press the pastry in to a greased, loose bottomed tin
- Put the tin into the fridge while you preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
- Dock the pastry with a fork, cover with baking paper and add your baking beans
- Place into the oven and blind bake for 15 minutes
- Remove from the oven, remove the beans and baking paper and put back into the oven
- Bake for a further 10 minutes then remove from the oven
- Your pastry is now ready for your filling and can be baked at this temperature for a further 30 minutes at least
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime September 13:
Has your house developed any leaks or cracks over the years?
Dave and I are away and I will not be online during our time on holiday. I will be back at work on the 14th and will reply to blog comments then.