Friday, November 18, 2005

Pastry 101

The year before last, my new years resolution was to master pastry. I didn't care about fancy stuff like chouff or puff, hell, if I ever feel like a profiterole I'll head to La Bretone or La Renaissance for a fix and well, Pampus do a good enough puff for me.

But this here is a good, fail-proof pastry recipe I use for sweet and savoury recipes. Although more for sweet as we all know my love of baking. For savoury I tend to use a hot water pastry recipe but more on that later, like in a few months after I've survived summer and make meat pies again in Autumn...

2 cups flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
160g butter
1/4-1/2 cup water

In a processor (I'm not one of those traditionalist 'it's better made by hand' kinda girls either), combine the flour, sugar and butter
Add water until it forms into a ball.
Refrigerate for 30 mins or until you need it. Sometimes mine doesn't make it to the fridge (gasp! quell'horror!) and guess what... it still works and doesn't shrink blah blah blah. Sometimes I hate cookery police more than that speed camera on Macpherson Street in Mosman.

Here it is getting made:

The Cheesecake

It ended up a little dark as the friend of ours who also owns the cleaning business we employ turned up to clean our house today (which is seriously weird. Almost as weird as the fact that next week one of the mothers of a girl in Felix's class last year who owns her own beauty salon will be hanging around my netherbits in what will come to be known as The Great Defoliation of 2006.) so I sort of forgot about it as we cooed over a sleeping Jasper.

Still, the house now smells all lemony and cheesy. . . in a good cheesy way, not a stinky blue cheesy way.

The base
1 packet Nice biscuits - crushed
butter, melted - enough to make biccie crumbs stick together, I'm guessing its about 100-125 grams.

Mix together and press into base and up sides of tin. Now, I'm not precious about this - in terms of an even edge or anything - I always operate on a 'rustic is good' kinda mentality.

The cheesecake
250g cream cheese
400g sour cream
300g ricotta
100g sugar
grated rind of 2 lemons
juice of 3 lemons
3 eggs
1 tblsp plain flour

Beat together the cheeses
Add the rind and sugar
Add the eggs and juice
Add the flour
Pour over base and bake at 180C for about an hour.

If you're like me, you'll now eat it until you feel sick and/or need to undo your jeans. I have the benefit at the moment that my jeans still.don', so say hello to elasticised waisted pants and pass me a spoon.