In the medieval cuisine of Northern Europe, pastry chefs were able to produce nice, stiff pastries because they cooked with shortening and butter. Some incomplete lists of ingredients have been found in medieval cookbooks, but no full, detailed versions. There were stiff, empty pastries called coffins or "huff paste", that were eaten by servants only and included an egg yolk glaze to help make them more enjoyable to consume. Medieval pastries also included small tarts to add richness.
Pastry is a dough of flour, water and shortening that may be savoury or sweetened. Sweetened pastries are often described as bakers confectionery. The word "Pastries" suggests many kinds of baked products made from ingredients such as flour, sugar, milk, butter, shortening, baking powder, and eggs. Small tarts and other sweet baked products are called pastries. Common pastry dishes include pies, tarts, quiches and pasties.
Hot water crust pastry is used for savoury pies, such as pork pies, game pies and, more rarely, steak and kidney pies. Hot water crust is traditionally used for making hand-raised pies. The usual ingredients are hot water, lard and flour, the pastry is made by heating water, melting the fat in this, bringing to the boil, and finally mixing with the flour. This can be done by beating the flour into the mixture in the pan, or by kneading on a pastry board.
Great recipe for shortcrust - especially for a first timer like myself who has never made it before. Yes, my pastry did crack at the edges a little when rolling, but I made the Caribbean Beef Patties from this website with it and they turned out great. No cracks when baking or anything, and a great tasting pastry, too.
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