200g Plain flour
100g Salted Butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
1 medium Egg yolk, beaten
35-45ml Cold water, straight from the fridge
The secret to a good pastry is to have your ingredients cold and to work quickly. Ensure you make it early enough to be able to leave your pastry to rest in the fridge. This prevents shrinkage in the oven when you cook it.
1. Tip your flour into a large bowl. Don't worry about sifting it, you can give it a quick whisk to add some air and lighten it up as well as remove any lumps.
2. Add the cubed butter and, using your finger tips and thumbs, rub the butter into your flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
3. Add the Parmesan cheese, and quickly work it through your flour & butter mixture until thoroughly combined.
4. Add the beaten egg yolk and about 35ml of your cold water and mix with a flat bladed knife until the pastry comes together. If required, you can add some more of your water, a bit at a time until the dough starts to stick and form a clump.
5. Tip your dough out on to a lightly floured surface and bring together completely with your hands, then quickly and lightly knead into a ball.
6. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
7. When chilled, remove from the fridge, roll and use as required.
As a variation, when you add your cheese, why not also add:
* 10ml dried herbs such as parsley, sage or thyme for a cheese & herb pastry.
* 10ml caraway, poppy or sesame seeds. This'll give it an extra crunch when cooked.
* pinch chilli powder for a little 'kick'
What will you make? With ours, my daughter made a salmon and smoked cod flan. I will share the recipe for that soon. Until then.... X