One Christmas I was making some mince pies. I’d weighed my flour and as I went to the fridge for the butter, I found that I only had half the amount of butter that was needed. Instead of ditching my Christmas baking, I decided to make up the butter shortfall with some baking margarine. This has been one of the best baking accidents I have ever had. This pastry comes out very short, crumbly and light. I love this recipe and now use it as the basis for all my sweet pastry bakes.
115g Cold Butter in cubes
115g Baking margarine
100g Caster sugar
350g Plain flour
Splash of cold water
Weigh out the flour and add in the baking margarine (in chunks), and the cubes of butter.
Roll up your sleeves and get your hands in the bowl. Rub the margarine and butter into the flour and work until you have formed a breadcrumb consistency. Then add in the sugar and combine.
Add in the egg and combine using a knife. The knife method is quite old school, but it was the way I was taught how to make pastry by my Mum, so I have always stuck to this method.
Add in a splash of cold water and again combine using the knife. Make sure that it is only a splash you are adding – I would say no more than a tablespoon. It just makes the mixture a bit more pliable to work with.
Tip out the mixture onto your worktop and begin working it to form a dough.
You can either use the dough straight away, or wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge until you are ready to use it. This will keep to up to 3 days in the fridge.
You now have a lovely pastry for making Jam Tarts, Apple Pies, or those light buttery Mince Pies mmmmmm