Basic 1 : Sweet pastry

Think of this recipe as if you were learning the alphabet. Once mastered it’s the starting point of lots of wonderful cooking adventures you’re going to be able to write all by yourself: Strawberry pies, raspberry pies, apple pies, plum pies… you name it.

Ingredients

  • 140g butter
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 250g flour

Recipe

If you are the lucky owner of a food processor with a spatula hook, it’s going to do most of the dirty work for you. Otherwise my advice is to take off all of your rings before working on the dough with your hands if you want to save yourself the trouble of cleaning them afterwards.

  1. Take the butter out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before starting. You want a real soft butter to mix it with the powdered sugar.
  2. Add the egg and pinch of salt. Add the flour and ground almonds. Mix with the spatula. Mash the dough with the palm of your hand a couple of time to check its homogeneity.
  3. Wrap the dough flat in cling film and let it rest in the fridge at least one hour & ideally until the next day.
  4. You’ll take the dough out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before laying it on the mold. This recipe is quite rich with the almonds and eggs and sometimes you’ll find the dough to be rather sticky when working on lining the mold. You should work on a clean floured surface, this will help. I also sometimes use baking parchment to roll the dough on and then flip it over in the mold.
  5. Then, if you’re going to use the pastry for fresh fruits ( strawberries, raspberries ), prick it with a fork all over the dough before coloring it for 30 minutes at 170 degrees. It should be regularly colored. You can use beans on a layer of baking paper to maintain weight on the dough and avoid that it rises.
  6. If you’re baking the fruits ( apricots, plums ) you can prick the dough and cover with the fruits before baking it.

For the plum pie on the picture : be generous on fruits as they tend to shrink during the baking. I let them overlap, and use small bits to cover the space that can be left between two plum halves. You can sprinkle a little sugar on top, the plums get juicy when they’re baked and it will be a sweet touch.

For some more inspiration on pies :

Letting the creative juices flow: Lemon Meringue Pie

Kid friendly apricot tart