Pastry for John Kerry

Well, it could be. I wouldn’t make it for the shrub, anyway. A week or two ago I promised the recipe for the almond orange tart I made. It was made with an almond and orange filling designed to fluff up slightly and be lighter than normal and a rich, lemon vanilla crust which I stole lock, stock and barrel from Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, “Jamie’s Kitchen.” So, first the pastry recipe…

Modified version of Jamie Oliver’s Perfect Sweet Pastry

If you really want to make this right you’ll have to buy the book. It goes into a great deal of detail about how to make this precisely. But here goes. I modified the recipe to use amounts that work better in the US.

8oz sweet unsalted butter, 8oz granulated or caster (baking sugar), 1/2 tsp salt, 1lb flour, 1 tsp vanilla essence (I used vanilla paste, a more concentrated form), zest from 1 lemon, 4 egg yolks, about 2 tablespoons of cold water.

Cream together the butter, sugar and salt, then blend in the flour, vanilla, lemon and egg yolks. It is easiest to do this in a food processor, but you can do it by hand. It should look like chunks of crumbly pastry. Then carefully blend in the water a little at a time until the pastry holds together like a dough. Roll it quickly into a long flat oval, wrap it in clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour or so. Then take it out and slice it lengthwise into long flat ovals about 1/4 of an inch thick. Depending on what you want to make with this, then carefully lay these out on the bottom and sides of the pie dish or ramekins or pastry molds or whatever so that they cover the surface completely. Use your fingers to mash the edges of these pieces together to form a sealed seam and flatten it out to blend all the pieces together to smoothly cover the surface. Now either fill if you are going to cook them with the filling or bake them first. You do this by putting the oven on at 350 degrees and filling the shell with something like rice or lentils or beans and then baking it for about twelve minutes so it is cooked but at most only lightly browned. Then let it cool and fill with the non-cooked filling.

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