Herb Flan Pastry

Pies are delicious. And you can make them very special. One of the ways is to add flavourings to the pastry dough itself, like with this herbed pastry dough. Perfect for many kinds of savoury pies, such as beef and chicken pies, but also for quiches.

Ingredients:

  • 250gr flour
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 125gr cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • ice cold water, as needed

Makes enough for 1 covered pie, or 2 pie shells

Recipe:

Combine the flour with the herbs.
Add the cold butter and encorporate it with a pastry cutter or with your hands, making a breadcrumb tecture. You want to heat the butter and flour as little as possible, as you do not want the butter to melt and be absorbed by the flour, which would make your pie crust tough.
Add the egg, salt and sugar and mix this quickly into the dough (handle it as little as possible). Add as much water as needed to have the dough just hold together. It will become wetter while resting and adding flour while rolling will make your crust taste dry. Don’t knead it more than absolutely required, as you want to work the gluten as little as possible.
Push the dough into a disk (this will require less rolling later) and place it in a closed bag. Leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge.

General use:
Roll the pastry on a floured surface to a thickness of 2-4mm. Line the pie tins, prick the base with a fork and then leave to rest for 30 minutes in the fridge again. This avoids shrinkage while baking so don’t skip this step.
When making filled pies, line the pie tins and cut out the tops, leave all to rest 30 minutes, then fill, wetten the edges of the dough and place the lid on. Seal the lid, brush with egg wash and then bake. So for sealed pies, you do also let the pies rest, but prior to filling, to avoid the pastry becoming soggy prior to baking. Also always use a cold filling, this also avoids soggy bottoms.

Bake blind for 20min on 190°C (10min for small, individual pies) or use as instructed in the pie recipe. When baking blind, I always brush the pie shells as they come out of the oven with egg wash, which seals the crust instantly and is just another seal to prevent the bottom from becoming soggy.

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