For a very long time, I thought that I couldn’t make shortcrust pastry because every time I tried making it, I would end up with a mess on the counter that I was not able to transfer to the pastry tin in one piece. To make things more difficult, there is a lot of lore surrounding this pastry and it is very difficult to zone in on the parts that are critical for success.
Having made many (MANY!) types of shortcrust pastry so far, I can confidently say that the one and only one book you need is Michel Roux’s Pastry.
There are three main keys of success in my pastry-making: 1) the KitchenAid, to knead as little as possible, and not more, 2) rolling out the dough between two sheets of baking paper, and 3) resting the pastry after rolling.
There are four main types of shortcrust pastry: pâte brisée, pâte à foncer, pâte sucrée, and pâte sablée.
And then there’s this. Dutch apple cake. I call it boyfriend’s Kryptonite, as it is the one cake he will not refuse, and this is the only reason I accept to make it. It flies in the face of tradition, falls apart when you try to put it in the pastry case… it is wrong. Unfortunately, it is also tasty. So here we are.
And just to give you a preview of another apple cake, here is one with pâte brisée. I am on a quest to emulate the flavour of the Dutch one, but with pastry that rolls out properly. Not there yet, but I will report back with the results of the experiment.