Making A Pastry
( Originally Published 1904 )
In making pastry, the first thing to be remembered is that every article used in its preparation should be scrupulously clean; and in order to ensure this it is best to have all the utensils washed and thoroughly dried directly after they are used, and dusted when they are again required. In addition to this there must be good materials, a well-regulated oven, a cool room, and a cook who brings to her work a cool, light, quick hand, close attention, and a little experience. There are four principal kinds of pastry: puff paste; short crust, for family use; standing crust, for meat and fish pies; and brioche paste, which is a sort of dough used for loaves, rolls, and buns. As cool hands are required, it is best to wash them in water as hot as can be borne a minute or two before making the pastry. The heat of the oven should in most cases be moderate, and the door should be only opened when it is absolutely necessary during the process of baking. The best way of ascertaining if the oven is properly heated is to bake a small piece of pastry in it before putting in the pie or tart. Standing crusts require a quicker oven than ordinary pastry. In all cases. wetting the pastry much will make it tough.
PASTE FOR COMMON PIES
Very excellent pastry may be made with lard or dripping, instead of butter, or with a mixture of lard and dripping. Good beef fat, or suet melted gently down, and poured off before it has had time to burn, is very nearly as good as anything that can be used for making pastry for everyday use. Very palatable pies may be made from the dripping from roast beef, veal, pork; or _mutton, though the last named is thought by some to impart a disagreeable flavor of tallow to pastry. The quantity of fat used must, of course, be regulated by the expense, and it may be remembered that a rich crust is neither so digestible nor- so: suitable for many dishes as a substantial light one, and that the lightness of pastry depends quite 'as much upon a light, quick, cool hand as on a large amount of butter or lard. The addition of a beaten egg or a little lemon juice to the water, or a teaspoonful of baking-powder to the flour, will make the paste lighter. It should be remembered, how-ever, that though baking-powder is excellent for common pastry that is to be used immediately, pies are more likely to get dry quickly when it is used.
Dry and sift the flour, and prepare the butter. Equal weights of butter and flour may be used, or 3/4 of a pound of butter to each pound of flour. Put a little salt into the flour, and make it into a paste by stirring gradually into it with a knife rather less than half a pint of water. Roll it out till it is an inch thick. Divide the butter into quarters: break one of these quarters into small pieces, and sprinkle these over the paste. Dredge a little flour over it, and turn it over, then repeat the process, until all the butter is incorporated with the paste. Let the paste rest for ten minutes between each two rolls. Equal parts of lard and butter may be used for this paste, and if the yolk of an egg or the strained juice of half a lemon be mixed with the water in the first instance, the paste will be lighter.
FRENCH PASTE, FOR MEAT PIES, HOT OR COLD
Put a pound of flour into a bowl, aid' rub slightly into it half a pound of fresh butter. Add half a teaspoonful of salt, and make the mixture up into a smooth stiff paste, by stirring into it 2 fresh eggs which have been beaten up. with rather less than 1/4 of a pint of water. Roll the pastry out, give it two or three turns, and bake as soon as possible. Time, ten minutes to prepare.
LESSON RECIPES FOR PASTRY
1 heaping cup flour; 1/4 teaspoonful salt; 1/4 teaspoonful baking-powder; 2 tablespoonfuls shortening; 1/4 cup or more cold water.
Sift the flour, salt, and baking-powder into a bowl, and rub in the shortening until the whole is reduced to a fine powder. Mix with the cold water to make a stiff dough. Scrape on a floured board, and pat and roll into a circular shape to fit the plate. Fit it loosely into the plate, allowing it to come a little over the edge, since it shrinks when baked. This makes two crusts for plates of ordinary size. Cottolene may be used as shortening.
2 cups flour; teaspoonful salt; 1/2 even tea-spoonful soda, and 1 slightly rounded teaspoonful cream of tartar, or 2 teaspoonfuls baking-powder; 1/2 cupful butter; 1 cupful sweet milk.
Sift the salt, soda, cream-tartar, and flour Together, and rub in the butter, keeping it as cold as possible. Stir in the milk to make a dough just soft enough to handle. Turn it on a floured board; divide the dough into halves and roll each piece out to fit a round tin plate. Bake at once, in a hot oven. When done, turn out each cake and lay it on the clean under-side of the baking-tin. With a thin, sharp knife, split the cake evenly, and lay the bottom crust on a china plate. Butter each half. Lay partly mashed, sweetened strawberries, peaches, apple-sauce, stewed rhubarb, or any hot cooked fruit suitable for pies, on the under crust, lay the upper crust over it, and serve as a pie. Powdered sugar may be sifted over-the top. If liked, it may be served with cream.
Take 4 large apples for each pie. Pare, core, and slice thin. Lay them in a deep pieplate, and sprinkle over 1 tablespoonful sugar to each apple, and I/2 tablespoonful water to each, and a little spice. If the apples are small, measure scant tablespoonfuls of sugar. Cover with a crust of pastry and bake until the crust is brown and the fruit is soft. About one-half hour is required. The apples may be stewed with the sugar and water, and used as directed in the recipe Tor shortcake paste, so as to make a pie with two wholesome crusts. Rhubarb may be washed, cut into pieces, sprinkled with 2 table-spoonfuls sugar to 1/2 cupful rhubarb, and cooked in the same way. Peaches, cherries, and apricots may be cooked, also, in this way. Huckleberries, blackberries,; and raspberries May be picked over, washed and sweetened with 1/3 cup sugar to 1 cup fruit, and baked in a pie, according to this recipe. Usc only an upper crust for fruit pies, since, in baking, the juice soaks into the under crust, making it heavy and indigestible. In making fruit pies without an under crust always use earthenware plates.
3 even tablespoonfuls corn starch; 1 cup sugar; 1 cup boiling water; 2 even tablespoonfuls butter; 1 lemon (rind and juice); 2 yolks of egg; 2 whites of egg, and 1 tablespoonful sugar.
Mix the corn starch and sugar, pour on the boiling water and boil until clear. When slightly cooled add the butter, the lemon juice and grated rind and the beaten yolk, and cook. Linea plate with pastry, and when baked pour in; the lemon-mixture. Whip the whites until stiff, and beat in the sugar. Drop it on the pie, and brown on the grate 2 or 3 Minutes. This makes one large pie.
1 cupful raisins; 1 egg, beaten; 1½ cupfuls currants; 1/4 teaspoonful salt; 1/2 cupful cut citron; 1/4 teaspoonful cinnamon; juice and rind of 1 lemon; 2/a cup molasses; 1/2 cupful tart jelly or fruit-juice; 2 tablespoonfuls vinegar; 2 Boston crackers; 1/2-cupful sugar; 1/4 teaspoonful cloves.
Seed and chop the raisins, wash the currants, roll the crackers fine. Mix all the ingredients together, boil ten minutes, and bake with an upper and under crust. The egg may be omitted, and 3 cupfuls apples, 1 cupful meat, and 1/4 cupful beef suet chopped together, may be added, and the mixture boiled and stirred from twenty to thirty minutes until the apples are soft.
Brioche paste may be served in a great variety of ways, all of which are excellent. It may be baked in one large cake; in fancy shapes, such as rings and twists; or in small loaves, rolls, or buns. Gruyere and Parmesan cheese or sweets may be introduced into it, or small portions may be stewed in soup, or fried, or used as the outer crust in which rissoles are cooked. Its most usual form, however, is that of a sort of double cake, the two parts being moulded separately, and moistened before they are joined, to cause them to adhere closely to one another. The upper portion of the brioche should be. made smaller than the lower one, and the entire cake should be brushed over with beaten egg before it is put into the oven. When jam is put into brioches, it should be mixed with part_ of the paste, and the rest rolled out, and put round it, so as to keep the fruit from boiling out. Cheese, on the contrary, should be well mixed with the paste, -which should then be baked in the ordinary way. Gruyere cheese should be cut into small dice, and Parmesan cheese grated for this purpose. Brioche paste is best made on the evening of the day before it is wanted, as it requires to lie in a cool place for some hours before it is baked. Though delicious, it is considered rather indigestible. It must be baked in a wellheated oven. The quantity only which will be wanted for immediate use should be made at one time, as brioche paste will not keep.:When properly prepared it is light and springy to the touch before it is baked, and it ought to rise in the sponge to fully twice its original size. It is made as follows: Take 1 pound (weighing 16 ounces) of dried and sifted flour. Divide it into 4 parts, and with 1 of these parts make the leaven. To do this, put the flour into a bowl, make a hollow in the middle of it, and pour into this hollow half an ounce of yeast dissolved in a spoonful or two of warm water. Add as much water as is-required to make the whole into 'a soft smooth paste; gather it into a ball, and put it into a bowl large enough to contain 3 times its quantity. Score the paste lightly across the top with the blunt side of a knife, cover with a cloth, and put it in a warm place to rise; it will be ready in about twenty minutes. Whilst it is rising take the remaining 3 parts of the flour. Make a hole in the centre, and put into this hole a quarter of an ounce of salt, half an ounce of powdered sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoonfuls of tepid water, 10 ounces of butter, which has been washed in two or three waters, squeezed in a cloth to free it from moisture, and broken into small pieces, and 4 eggs freed from the specks. Work all gently together with the fingers, and add one by one 3 more eggs, until the paste is quite smooth, and neither too hard to be worked easily nor so soft that it sticks to the fingers. When the leaven is sufficiently risen, put it upon the paste, and mix both together with the fingers gently and thoroughly. Put the dough into a basin, and leave it in a warm place all night. Early on the following morning knead it up afresh, let it rise two hours longer, and knead once more be-fore it is baked. Brioche paste should be put into a well-heated oven. The time required for baking depends, of course, upon the size of the cake. Its appearance will soon show when it is done enough. The materials here given, if baked in one cake, would require about half ad hour. Sufficient for half a dozen persons.
Attention is all that is required, and a little manual dexterity in turning the pudding out of the mould or cloth. Let the several ingredients be each fresh and good of its kind, as one bad article, particularly eggs, will taint the whole composition. Have the moulds and pudding-cloths carefully washed when used, the cloths with wood ashes, and dried in the open air. Lay them aside . sweet and thoroughly dry. Puddings ought to be put into plenty of boiling water, which must be kept upon a quick boil; or baked, in general, in a sharp but not scorching oven. A pudding in 'which there is much bread must be tied loosely, to allow room for swelling. A batter pudding ought to be tied up firmly. Moulds should be quite full, well buttered, and covered with a fold or two of paper floured and buttered. Eggs for puddings must be used in greater quantity when of small size. The yolks and whites, if the pudding is wanted particularly light and nice, should be strained after being separately well beaten. A little salt is necessary for all potato, bean, or peas puddings, and all puddings in which there is suet or meat, as it improves the flavor. The several ingredients, after being well stirred together, should in general have a little time to stand, that the flavors may blend. A frequent fault of boiled puddings, which are often solid bodies, is being underdone. Baked puddings are as often scorched. Puddings may be steamed with ad-vantage, placing the mould or basin in the steamer, or three parts dipped in a pot of boiling water, which must be kept boiling, and filled up as the water wastes. When the pudding-cloths are to be used, dip them in hot water and dredge them with flour; the moulds must be buttered. Plain moulds or basins are easily man-aged. When a pudding begins to set, stir it up in the dish, if it is desired that the fruit, etc., should not settle to the bottom; and, if boiled, turn over the cloth in the pot for the same reason, and also to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, on which a plate may be laid as a preventive. The time of boiling must be according to size and solidity. When the pudding is taken out of the pot, dip it quickly into cold water., Set it in a basin of its size. It will then more readily separate from the cloth without breaking. Have the oven very clean for all uses, cleaning it regularly before lighting the fire. Take care that the juice of pies does not boil over, or the liquid contents of puddings; and remember that sugar, butter, and suet become liquids in boiling. It is from their excess that puddings often break. Be, therefore, rather sparing of sugar; for if you have much syrup you must have more eggs and flour, which make puddings heavy. It is often the quantity of sugar which makes tapioca and arrowroot, boiled plain, troublesome to keep in shape when moulded. Rice or other grain puddings must not be allowed to boil in the oven before setting, or the ingredients will separate and never set; so never put them into a very hot oven. As a rule, we may assume that such flavoring ingredients as lemon-grate and juice, vanilla, and cocbanut, are -more admired in modern puddings than cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Care must be taken to mix batter puddings smoothly. Let the dried flour be gradually mixed with a little of the milk, as in making mustard or starch, and afterwards, in nice cookery, strain the latter through a coarse sieve.
Puddings are lighter boiled than baked. Raisins,, prunes, and damsons for puddings must be carefully stoned; or sultanas may be used in place of other raisins. Currants must be picked and plunged in hot water, rubbed in a floured cloth, and plumped and dried heroic the fire almonds must be blanched and sliced; and-in mixing grated bread; pounded biscuit, etc., with milk, pour the milk on them hot, and cover the vessel for an hour, which is both better and easier than boiling. Suet must be quite fresh and free of fibres. Mutton suet for puddings is lighter than that of beef; but marrow, when it can be obtained, is richer than either. A baked pudding has often a paste border or a garnishing of blanched and sliced almonds about it, but these borders are merely matters of ornament; if moulded, puddings may also be garnished in various ways, as with bits of currant jelly. The sweetness and flavor of' puddings must, in most cases, be determined by individual taste. Sugar can be added at table.
"Plum puddings, when boiled, if hung up in a cool place in the cloth they are boiled in, will keep good some months: When wanted, take them out of the cloth, and put them into a clean cloth, and as soon as warmed through they are ready."
In preparing meat puddings, " the first and most important point is never to use any meat that is tainted;.for in puddings, above all other dishes, it is least possible to disguise it by the confined process which the ingredients undergo. The gradual heating of the meat, which alone would accelerate decomposition, will cause the smallest piece of tainted meat to contaminate the rest. Be particular also that the suet and fat are not rancid, always remembering the grand principle that everything which gratifies the palate nourishes."
A pudding cloth, however coarse, should never be washed with soap; it should just be dried as quickly as possible, and kept dry and free from dust, and stowed away in a drawer or cupboard free from smell.
LESSON RECIPES FOR PUDDINGS
BAKED RICE PUDDING
1/2 cup rice; 2 teaspoonfuls sugar; 1/2 tea-spoonful salt; 1 quart skimmed milk, or 1 pint full milk, and 1 pint water.
Pick over and wash the rice. Stir it into the milk with the sugar and salt. Butter a pudding dish, pour in the milk and rice; bake slowly two hours, covered, then uncover and brown. Seeded raisins may be added.
INDIAN TAPIOCA PUDDING
3 tablespoonfuls tapioca; 2 tablespoonfuls Indian meal; 1 teaspoonful butter; 1 teaspoonful salt; 1 quart milk; 34 cup molasses.
Soak the tapioca in hot water. Soak the meal in 1/4 cupful of the milk, heat the rest of the milk.
Mix together the' first 4 ingredients, add the hot milk and. molasses. Turn into a 'buttered baking dish, bake about one hour.
Peaches may be used instead of apples.
3/4 cupful tapioca or sago; 1 quart hot water; 1/2 teaspoonful salt; 6 or 7 apples; 1/2 cupful sugar, cinnamon or nutmeg, sugar.
Pick over and wash the sago, soak about one hour. Pour on the hot water, cook till clear; stir often, add the salt. Pare and core the apples, slice or put whole in a buttered baking-dish, sprinkle sugar and spice over them, and turn in the sago. Bake till the apples are soft. Serve With milk and sugar.
1 pint milk, scalded; 1 cup bread crumbs; 1 teaspoonful butter; 1 lemon; 1/2 cup sugar; 2 eggs.
Add the sugar and crumbs to the scalded milk, add the butter and lemon rind. Beat the yolks of the eggs and add them. Bake in a buttered dish thirty minutes. Cobb and spread the beaten whites over the top. Add to the whites in beating the juice of the lemon and ½ cup powdered sugar.