Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spelt pastry recipe

Yesterday I went to my friend Rioghnach's Christmas party. She's been so encouraging about my blog and we have a shared love of cooking and all things retro. So I tried to channel my inner Betty Crocker and planned to bring some tasty baked treats to her party.

My list of tasty treats included chocolate macaroons and my alternatives to the traditional mince pie, so mini jam pies, chocolate pecan pies and roast cranberry, apple and Cointreau pies. Sadly the macaroons as we speak are sitting in the bin. They looked perfectly cooked when they came out of the oven, so not suspecting a problem and feeling slightly stressed about how many things I had to do, I left them to cool and thought nothing more of it. Until I attempted to remove them from the greaseproof paper and they fell apart. They hadn't cooked in the centre and returning them to the oven did little to salvage the situation. Sigh. Baking failures make me very sad. 
But, my pies did turn out splendidly well. I'm really pleased with how the pastry turned out especially considering my apprehension over using spelt flour and how the few recipes my mother has for wheat free pastry have not worked so well in the past. 

I used the shortcrust pastry recipe from the Cookeen website with a few slight tweaks and made it in the food processor. I figured there was no point sweetening the pastry when I was also using a sweet filling, so this recipe can be used for what ever you like really. Savoury and sweet pies, quiches, tarts, maybe sausage rolls or as alternative pizza bases.

You can see the original recipe and instructions on how to make it by hand here:

200g white spelt flour,
100g Cookeen vegetable fat,
1 medium free range egg,
1 pinch of sugar,
Cold water.

I blitzed the flour, sugar and Cookeen together in the food processor. 

When I thought they were well enough mixed, which is a bit hard to tell really since it still just looks like a lot of flour, now with no visible Cooken, in the food processor, I added the whole egg to help bind it. I know the original recipe uses just the yoke, but I figured the spelt flour needed a little bit more help sticking. 

Blitzed it again and slowing added the water while still blitzing until the mixture started to visibly stick together in the food processor and look like dough. Took it out and rolled it altogether into the one ball/mound of dough and put it into a sandwich bag before leaving it to sit in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

Hey presto! After the 30 minutes the dough is ready to use. If you're really stuck for time and have made the dough in the food processor too, you can probably use it right away since you haven't made it with your hands it shouldn't need time to rest and cool. 

I rolled mine out on a floured surface, cut out my little fancy circles, put them in a greased or oiled tart tray and blind baked it in the oven for 10 minutes at 170°C (in a fan assisted oven) before I filled the individual cases and returned them to the oven. This ensured the cases were nice a crisp on the bottom - because no one wants to eat a pie with a soggy bottom (unless you're into that kinda thing and that's fine, just don't blind bake it then!)


  1. Hi, I have tried this recipe - it is fabulous - will definitely use it in future, especially good for quiches and sweet tarts. Sorry to nit pick, but it should be yolk not yoke which is wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull.