Sunday, 24 January 2010

And another thing...

...that I have learnt in the last few months is... wait for it... courtesy of Rachel Allen, rolling pastry out between pieces of cling film!  I know, thrilling, isn't it?  But it has been a revelation.  No more flour everywhere.  No more uneven, odd-shaped pastry.  Just perfectly rolled pastry.  Goodness knows why I had never thought of it before!  This recipe for lemon tart is well worth making.

I usually make my pastry in my food processor.  Just a few quick whizzes and it's done.  I then tip it out into cling film, pat it down into a round, then wrap up and put it in the fridge for a while to chill.  After half an hour or so, out it came with the flour shaker and hence the mess.  Not any more!  I think it's always been said that the less you handle pastry, and the cooler you can keep it, the better it will be.  This method seems to tick all the boxes.

Rachel also said that you can bake the pastry blind with the cling film using your baking beans rather than foil or baking paper.  She was very reassuring that it wouldn't melt and that it would leave a lovely smooth pastry case.  Of course, she was right!

This year I want to keep on learning stuff like this.  It's important stuff.  Stuff I can pass on down my family and share with others.  Do let me know of any important stuff you think I may need to know!


  1. Cling film in the oven? Really? How do I not know this?

  2. Rachel Allen is a blummin' genius.

  3. I roll out pastry in cling film, it's the only way you can get gluten free pastry to behave , but I'd never thought of putting it in the oven!

  4. I have definitely rolled pastry between clingfilm in the heyday of my pastry making career.

    However, I would be cautious about putting clingfilm in the oven - even if it is recommended by the lovely Rachel - because I am not sure if there would be an issue with plasticizer migration at high temperature especially as pastry tends to have a high fat content.

    I would be interested in the view of the Science Guru (!!!calling Val!!!)

  5. I am mildly alarmed that Alice sems to be channelling me!

    I'm not an expert on plastics by any stretch of the imagination, but I wouldn't personally put cling film in the oven, especially on fatty foods; in fact mine explicitly states not to use it in a conventional oven. To be honest I don't use it even in a microwave. Though I did read that there are certain types of cling film you can use in an oven at lowish temperatures so I think it's safest just to check the box.
    Would the plastic liner stuff from Lakeland do the same job I wonder? Hmmmm.

  6. Brilliant tip to use clingfilm for rolling out the pastry but I think I would be a little cautious about putting it in the oven too.

  7. It's a good tip, isn't it! And mess free, which is a winner in my book.

  8. Ps I wouldn't put it in the oven either...and I don't possess a microwave.

  9. Thanks for sharing the tips. When I did a City and Guilds Cookery certificate many many years ago we were told to only roll the pastry in one direction. That is: to not roll the rolling pin back and forth but to keep rolling forward. Then you turn the pastry a quarter turn and roll and keep repeating, patting the sides in to get a nice even shape! x

  10. I only just started using my Magimix for pastry this year, and it was a revelation! So much easier than by hand!

    And I know quite a few chefs do it, but I'd be wary of plastic wrap in the oven (from the chemistry point of view)...hmmm...

    K x

  11. Nooooo?!!

    seriously? in the oven? cling film? What's the temperature???

    And I can't believe I haven't thought about rolling it in it before.


    My life will never be the same again.


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