Today, January 23, is National Pie Day, so I thought I’d share the recipe I used to introduce my beginning foods students to the art of making pastry. It’s a very simple recipe that my students were able to master on the first try, building their confidence for attempting a traditional plain pastry recipe.
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup shortening
2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
9 tablespoons strawberry jam (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Sift flour into mixing bowl.
- Using pastry blender, cut in 3 tablespoons shortening until the mixture looks like cornmeal.
- Cut in the rest of the shortening until the particles are the size of small peas.
- Add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until the mixture forms a ball.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board. Dough should be 1/8-inch thick and 12 inches square.
- Cut square into nine 4-inch squares. (Will look like a tic-tac-toe board.)
- Place a level tablespoon of jam in one corner of each square.
- Moisten the edges of squares with cold water.
- Fold the square from one corner to the opposite corner.
- Seal edges with a floured fork.
- Prick the top of the turnovers with fork.
- Place on baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.
- Bake 15 minutes or until turnovers are golden brown.
Yield: 9 turnovers
Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze, if desired. In a mixing bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons milk to make frosting of drizzling consistency.
Pastry Pointers to share with students!
- Overmixing and overhandling pastry will make it tough by developing the gluten in the flour.
- Add only enough water to pastry dough to bring the dry ingredients together. Too much water will make the dough sticky and hard to roll out.
- Pastry dough layers must be moistened to ensure that the layers are sealed together.
- Using a pastry blender to combine fat and dry ingredients produces layers in the dough, which makes the pastry flaky.
- Using very cold water when making pastry dough will keep the fat firm and produce a flakier product.
A couple of words of caution:
- Provide rulers for students to use to measure the thickness and dimension of the dough.
- Students should let turnovers cool for a few minutes before sampling because the jam will be hot enough to burn right out of the oven.
- Caution students to use only a level tablespoon of jam in each turnover because excess will run out on the pan and burn.
Happy National Pie Day, Everyone!
This recipe is included in our resource Cooking Up Success, which features 200+ classroom-tested recipes for the FACS foods lab.