Ah, pastry week. We’ve all been looking forward to it; the enthusiasm, the panic, the endless soggy-bottom talk…
Honestly, though, the real reason we love this week’s theme so much is that pastry is simply a wonderful, incredibly useful thing. Think about it – it gives us the means to mix up something delicious, pile it into a homemade container, and then eat the container along with everything inside.
It can lend itself to a vast variety of recipes, both sweet and savoury, and the many different varieties of it give, well, great variety in these dishes. Below are our favourite pastry recipes from across the board to get you into the spirit for tonight – if all goes to plan, we’ll be snacking on homemade jam tarts by the time Mary’s making her first soggy-bottom mention.
It’s important to get the basics right, and this basic recipe for sweet pastry from Jamie’s America is certainly right. It’s straightforward, versatile, and delicious.
This one is about as straight-up and hearty as they come. There’s little to say about steak pie beyond the fact that it’s unbelievably comforting, and although in the UK many of us are likely to associate it with late-night trips to the chippy, this homemade version, with its trustworthy ingredients and gorgeous homemade puff-pastry lid has all the same charm.
Cornish pasties are a national treasure that have been mentioned in historical texts for centuries. Although certainly well-loved by the tin miners of Cornwall, this was more due to their transportability and unfortunately not the idea that the thick pastry ridge could be discarded, allowing them to eat without getting dirt or poisonous materials into their mouths – photographs have shown them being devoured from protective wrappers, end to end, just as we would. I mean, who throws away a big chunk of delicious pastry if they can avoid it?
Wellington is another fantastic savoury use for pastry. If you’ve never tried it, believe me, you’re missing out – it’s like your main meal has been gently hugged by something whilst it cooked, keeping all the flavour and shape whilst forming a gorgeous, crispy, flavoursome shell around the outside. Jamie’s turkey wellington is a total treat, but fear not – we’ve got a killer vegetarian Wellington recipe right here.
Jam tarts are a team-time shortcrust pastry classic, and a brilliant thing to make with kids as they’re super easy and delightful to look at. Sure, summer’s sort of come to a close, but think of these as a warm-up to mince pies in a couple of months.
Let’s end on a bang; we reckon this chocolate tart recipe from Jamie Magazine is one of the most delicious, seductive recipes on our whole site. I mean, honestly – just look at that thing. The subtler, sharper flavours of cardamom, raspberry and creme fraiche are held up by a punchy 70% dark chocolate.