I have some time on my hands this afternoon and as usual I did a round of my edited photos in my never-ending list of computer files and folders. They seem to get bigger by the minute and sometimes it’s very hard to keep track of things. Having said that I need to check those currently on my phone, which also needs some serious decluttering. Does that word even exist?
Originally I didn’t plan to give you the recipe for the pastry, as I did write a post about it some years ago. I thought “it’s just what I do sometimes when I have some leftovers”, and I *always* end up with leftovers. However to save you a few seconds until you wait for your browser to look it up for you, I decided to include it here anyway. It’s been quite a while. And I would rather have you do this than throwing any extras away.
For those who don’t like the idea of melted chocolate, there are a few options. You could either leave them plain or dip them in some sugar and cinnamon while they’re still hot. Or, better still, you can dip them in dulce de leche, which is simply heated (as in heated very gently over low heat) sweetened milk. There are loads of how-to’s out there for dulce de leche. You can go to Alton Brown or Epicurious, both very legit even if they seem a wee bit complicated. If you want something simpler there’s no way to go other than Nigella. You cannot go wrong with her recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce. Sweet pastry crumbled over ice cream also appeals to me, and I’m sure you can find many other combinations to try.
Please note that the quantity given here for the sweet shortcrust is for around a dozen little pies. You will have some extra to make the slices.*
You will have plenty of chocolate but it’s the easiest quantity of chocolate you’ll find in the shops. However I’m sure you’ll find uses for it. Drizzled over fruit is one of my favourites.**
For the pastry:
- 240g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 60g butter, unsalted
- 60g vegetable shortening/vegetable fat (Trex in the UK)
- 90g sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the coating:
- approx. 1 tablespoon of white or light brown sugar
- sprinkling of cinnamon
For frying the pastry:
- a drizzle of rapeseed oil
For the chocolate:
- 100g dark chocolate** (or a mixture of both milk and dark chocolate)
In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder, add the sugar, and rub the butter completely into the flour until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add the beaten egg, lemon zest and juice, and the vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix everything well using your clean hands. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for about 40 minutes. This will make it crunchy later and easier to handle when rolling it out.
That’s the pastry done. Roll it out and prepare whatever you plan with it.* It’s now time for the leftovers.
Cut rough strips or slices from whatever pastry is left. Prepare the coating for the hot pastry strips in a shallow bowl. Mix and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water.** Give it a mix with a wooden spoon. Keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to burn.
Place a non-stick shallow pan over medium heat and pour in a little oil. Spread the oil all over the bottom of the pan and let it heat well. Gently place the leftover pastry strips in the pan and let them brown well on each side. Repeat until all the pastry is cooked.
Now you can either dip or drizzle the chocolate over the pastry. Eat while they are still warm.