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Nut Pastry

Nut pastry is used for pies, flans, tartlets and a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes. It should be crisp, light yet firm in texture and light handling; use of cool ingredients and work surfaces is essential. Remember; too much liquid produces a tough pastry and too little produces a dry, crumbly pastry which is difficult to handle.

Remember, Pastry is only as good as the flour you use. Don't buy cheap flour.

ingredients

2 cups (225 g) plain flour (All purpose)
1 pinch of salt
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g butter or block margarine
2 oz (50 g) lard
chilled water
25 g (1 oz) very finely chopped nuts

method

1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the fats and the nuts (shelled walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, hazelnuts or almonds). Cut into the flour with a knife then rub in with your fingertips. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs.

2. Sprinkle water over the crumbs. Mix to a stiff crumbly-looking paste with a round-ended knife. Draw together with fingertips, turn out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead quickly until smooth and crack free.

3. Roll out and use as required.

4. To cook, bake at 200 - 220°C (400 - 425°F) mark 6 - 7, except where otherwise specified, until lightly browned.

Storing Nut Pastry 1. Wrapped in cling film, uncooked nut pastry dough will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.

2. Both baked and unbaked nut pastry should freeze well. Thaw unbaked dough at room temperature before unwrapping, but rolled out pastry cases may be cooked from frozen, allowing a little extra time.

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