Sweet pastry

Makes approx. 500g

  • 250 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 50 g icing sugar

  • 125 g good-quality unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes

  • 1 orange, (optional)

  • 1 vanilla pod, halved and seeds scraped out (optional)

  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten

  • a splash of milk

Everyone needs a good, basic pastry recipe, and this is one you can rely on. It's easily adaptable if you want to add extra flavours like orange zest or vanilla – or even a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon – and is really simple to knock up. If you have any pastry left over, simply wrap it in clingfilm and freeze it to use another time.



You can make your pastry like this by hand, or pulse it in a food processor. From a height, sieve your flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, gently work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If using orange or vanilla for extra flavour, either finely grate in the zest of your orange or add the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix again.



Add the egg and milk to the mixture and gently work it together using your hands until you have a ball of dough. Remember not to work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short.



Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and on a clean work surface, and pat the ball into a flat round about 2.5cm thick. Sprinkle over a little more flour, then wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. Get yourself a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin and, using a splash of vegetable oil on a piece of kitchen paper, lightly oil the inside.



Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then carefully roll out your pastry, turning it every so often, until it's about 0.5cm thick. Carefully roll your pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it carefully over your oiled tin. Ease the pastry into the tin, making sure you push it into all the sides. Trim off any excess by running a knife along the top of the pastry case, then prick the base of the case all over with a fork and pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.



Get yourself a large square piece of greaseproof paper, scrunch it up, then unwrap it and use it to line your pastry case, pushing it right into the sides. Fill the case right up to the top with rice, and bake blind for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. Take the case out, carefully remove the rice and greaseproof paper (you can save the rice to use for blind baking another time), then return the case to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes until it's firm and almost biscuit-like. Leave to cool.

Nutritional Information

Method

Everyone needs a good, basic pastry recipe, and this is one you can rely on. It's easily adaptable if you want to add extra flavours like orange zest or vanilla – or even a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon – and is really simple to knock up. If you have any pastry left over, simply wrap it in clingfilm and freeze it to use another time.

You can make your pastry like this by hand, or pulse it in a food processor. From a height, sieve your flour and icing sugar into a large mixing bowl. Using your fingertips, gently work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If using orange or vanilla for extra flavour, either finely grate in the zest of your orange or add the seeds from the vanilla pod and mix again.

Add the egg and milk to the mixture and gently work it together using your hands until you have a ball of dough. Remember not to work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short.

Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and on a clean work surface, and pat the ball into a flat round about 2.5cm thick. Sprinkle over a little more flour, then wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes. Get yourself a 25cm non-stick loose-bottomed tart tin and, using a splash of vegetable oil on a piece of kitchen paper, lightly oil the inside.

Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then carefully roll out your pastry, turning it every so often, until it's about 0.5cm thick. Carefully roll your pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it carefully over your oiled tin. Ease the pastry into the tin, making sure you push it into all the sides. Trim off any excess by running a knife along the top of the pastry case, then prick the base of the case all over with a fork and pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Get yourself a large square piece of greaseproof paper, scrunch it up, then unwrap it and use it to line your pastry case, pushing it right into the sides. Fill the case right up to the top with rice, and bake blind for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. Take the case out, carefully remove the rice and greaseproof paper (you can save the rice to use for blind baking another time), then return the case to the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes until it's firm and almost biscuit-like. Leave to cool.

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

Nutritional Information Amount per 100g of pastry:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 429
    21%
  • Carbs 51.3g
    20%
  • Sugar 11.7g 13%
  • Fat 23.5g 34%
  • Saturates 13.2g 66%
  • Protein 6.5g 14%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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