That’s almost too simple a description but it is what they are. I am determined to get better at pastry making and baking. It is such useful stuff. So, the other day I made up a batch of highly experimental almond pastry. I essentially made a basic sweet pastry but I used some ground almonds instead of some flour. Approximate directions (do I give any other kind?) are to use two cups of flour, one cup of ground almonds, half a cup of sugar and about a cup and a hlaf of shortening of your choice. In this case there are really only two options – either high quality sweet butter very cold, or very high quality vegetable shortening. I now use organic vegetable shortening that is basically 100% palm oil (NOT palm kernel oil which is liquid). This is better than most vegetable shortening because it is NOT hydrogenated and so has NO trans fats. OK, lecture over.
Cut this all together by your favorite method. I still ike using my fingers best. Then add about two tablespoons of cold water to bind it all together. You may need a little more or a little less.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours, then roll out to about 1/8th of an inch. I then made little tartlets using muffin trays – I got 24 tartlets out fo this recipe but I rolled the pastry a touch thicker then described.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cases cool.
Then I made a completely fake custard using Bird’s custard powder and a mixture of milk, cream and sugar flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. I cooked it a bit thick so it would set solid when cool, let it cool a little and poured it into the tartlet shells and topped each one with a fresh raspberry.
Then put them all to cool in the fridge for an hour or eat right away if you want them warm.
Side note. Bird’s custard powder is esentially cornstarch with annatto coloring to make it yellow. Just cornstarch would work as well…