Breads and Pastries – Maggie Beer’s Sour Cream Pastry
In the last week I’ve used it twice, once for a light and lovely spring vegetable tart and then to cover a big, boofy beer and beef pie (no more alliteration, I promise). And in each case, it worked beautifully.
This really is a very light and crispy pastry and quite different form your normal fiddly shortcrust. Like the lady herself, it’s no fuss and always provides brilliant results.
To begin with, you will find yourself adding far more butter than you would normally and no egg or water to bind the pastry – the sour cream does the job magnificently. The result is a very soft dough, almost like a scone or damper mixture. When I lined a tart tin, it tore quite easily, but the great thing is that it’s very easy to press back into shape without making a botched mess of the whole thing – it’s wonderful to work with.
In flavour it’s very light, the texture is incredibly flaky, and with all that butter, a perfect foil to the big flavours of the tart or pie it contains. It’s a brilliant all-rounder, perfect for sweet or savoury fillings.
This makes enough to line a 22cm round pie, quiche or tart tin, or enough to cover six large ramekins.
250g plain flour; 200g butter, chilled and cut into small dice; 125ml (½ cup) sour cream
Place the flour and butter in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the pastry resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, place the flour and butter in a large bowl and rub the butter through your fingertips until you get the same consistency.
Add the sour cream and pulse the machine until the pastry comes together in a large ball away from the edges of the processor bowl. If making by hand, stir the cream through the flour mixture with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to bring it all together.
Turn out the pastry onto a floured bench top and lightly knead it until it comes together in a soft ball. Wrap it up in clingfilm and leave it to chill for at least 30 minutes before using it in your favourite recipe.
$3.00 for one quantity of pastry (enough for a standard sized pie or large tart)