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Happy almost St. Patricks Day! I have done a cracker of a recipe over on beaut.ie for a deeply savoury Irish Beef & Stout Pie, with lots of excellent Irish food producers featured in the recipe.

As part of that recipe, I have made my own buttery, flaky pastry. It is super easy to make and there is just no comparison to shop bought pastry! You can make it up a day or 2 ahead, and keep it in the freezer or the fridge until you need it.

Cuinneog Butter, Irish Butter, Irish Food, Flaky Pastry, Pastry, Irish Farmhouse Butter, Grass fed Butter, Yellow Butter, Pastry Recipes, Odium's Organic  Flour, Kilner Jar with Flour, O'Neill's Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Flaky Sea Salt,

I can’t claim to have invented this recipe, as I first found it on Delia Smith’s website, and you can find the original recipe here. I’ve added a squeeze of lemon juice to the water, as a little bit of acid in pastry helps to keep it light and flaky. For this pie I have doubled the quantities to cover a deep, 25cm pie dish, with just a lid. Should you want to make a pie bottom too, I would probably double it again just to make sure you have enough pastry. But really, you don’t need that much pastry, as it is so rich. The crunchy, golden top is much nicer than a potentially soggy bottom!

I used Cuinneog Irish Farmhouse butter, which is slightly salted, fermented and extra delicious! If you can’t get it, Kerrygold is also excellent and more widely available. You just can’t beat Irish butter!!

Cuinneog Butter, Irish Butter, Irish Food, Flaky Pastry, Pastry, Irish Farmhouse Butter, Grass fed Butter, Yellow Butter, Pastry Recipes

Look how yellow it is! That is because it is primarily grass fed and we get so much rain here in Ireland, that our grass grows nearly all year long. The mostly grass fed diet means that the cows get plenty of beta carotene and this gives the butter, and other dairy products, its rich, yellow colour and superior depth of flavour.

My only gripe with Irish dairy products is that it is nearly impossible to get organic Irish butter! And because Irish dairy farming uses a small percent of GM corn and soy as supplementary food, there is no guarantee that Irish dairy is GM free, unless you can buy organic. I hope this changes in the future as it really concerns me, and I think it would be an import USP for marketing our dairy products abroad! They really are unique.

in pie we crust 2

How lovely is this pie dish? I got it last Christmas as a gift and it is excellent! I don’t often use the ceramic bird (which helps steam to escape and stops the pie bursting or leaking – very handy). I use the dish itself most weeks, and for lots of other things too, not just pies.

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Ingredients:

150 g best quality Irish butter

220g plain four

good pinch of flaky sea salt ( I used O’Neill’s Atlantic Irish Sea Salt)

60ml or so of iced water

1 tsp of lemon juice

Cuinneog Butter, Irish Butter, Irish Food, Flaky Pastry, Pastry, Irish Farmhouse Butter, Grass fed Butter, Yellow Butter, Pastry Recipes, Odium's Organic  Flour, Kilner Jar with Flour, O'Neill's Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Flaky Sea Salt,

Method:

Measure out your butter and wrap it in tin foil or greasproof paper. Chill in the freezer for at least 1 hour, until very hard. I ended up leaving mine in the freezer overnight, and actually it makes it easier to grate.

Cuinneog Butter, Irish Butter, Irish Food, Flaky Pastry, Pastry, Irish Farmhouse Butter, Grass fed Butter, Yellow Butter, Pastry Recipes, Odium's Organic  Flour, Kilner Jar with Flour, O'Neill's Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Flaky Sea Salt,

Measure out the flour and salt, and sieve into a large bowl.

flour in sieve

Un-peel half the butter and using a box grater or other very coarse grater, grate the frozen butter into the bowl.

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With a butter knife, cut and mix the butter into the flour, until well combined.

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iced water in glass ramekin

I forgot to take a picture of it, but I squeezed in a wedge of lemon juice – about 1 teaspoon – into this icy water.

Add in the iced water, a tablespoon at a time, and keep cutting and stirring the mix until it starts to come together and form a dough. Don’t add in too much water, and don’t over mix the dough! It will come together before you know it.

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Before it’s completely combined, bring it together with your hands, and tip it out onto a well floured surface. Knead VERY lightly until you have a ball of dough. The flecks of butter should still be very visible so don’t over mix or over knead!

Roll out to a thick disc, and wrap in cling film or paper. Ideally, you should now chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but I was losing the light for my photos, so I skipped this part. I think because my butter was so frozen, I got away with not resting the dough properly, but if you have time please don’t skip this step. Roll it out to about 1.5cm thickness and let it rest for at least 10 minutes to avoid shrinking later.

rolled out pastry, Cuinneog Butter, Irish Butter, Irish Food, Flaky Pastry, Pastry, Irish Farmhouse Butter, Grass fed Butter, Yellow Butter, Pastry Recipes, Odium's Organic  Flour, Kilner Jar with Flour, O'Neill's Irish Atlantic Sea Salt, Sea Salt, Flaky Sea Salt, Grated Butter in Bowl

Here is the beautiful dough, rolled out and rested, ready to top the pie!

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Here is the delicious pie filling, which would work well as a stew, ready to be topped with pastry and baked until golden and flaky! To see how I made the Beef and Stout pie, click here. It turned out really well and was deeply savoury and scrumptious!

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Seriously, how cute does the bird look?! And the pastry turned out so light, flaky and buttery! You have to give it a go!

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This pastry is excellent for all manner of things, both sweet and savoury. I also like to use it to make a chicken and leek pie, but it would work equally well as an apple or berry pie. The most important thing to remember is not to over mix it or handle it too much. You want it lumpy, with small chunks of butter throughout. That’s what gives it its lightness and flakiness once cooked.

Leek & Wild Garlic Mash close up, Irish Food, Leeks, Wild Garlic, Irish Recipes, Mash Potatoes,

Stay tuned for my recipe for leek and wild garlic mash potatoes, the perfect accompaniment to the pie! I’ll try and get that up later today. Off to make it now…

 

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