I hate kitchen waste with a passion, everything gets used if possible and when I’ve squeezed the last scraps out of the carcass or the vegetables they either go in stock or to compost.
Pastry has always stumped me though. I always end up with little scraps that have been rolled multiple times and are no longer workable for a pie, so what to do?
Here is how to get 24 small pies, one 10” fruit pie and a jar full of dog biscuits that made everyone’s Christmas. Zero waste!
I started with a block of no name vegetable shortening. I havent made lard yet, rendering lard is on my to do list from the essential homesteading skills survey, so that will be a project for the new year! I know a lot of people swear by using lard in their pastry, but I’ve never tried it, so vegetable shortening is where I’m at. It’s cheap and the packaging is recyclable!
Shortcrust Pastry Recipe
- 1 block of Vegetable Shortening, 454g/1lb
- 6 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1.5 tsp Salt
- Up to 1.75 cups Ice cold water
- 1tbsp White wine vinegar
Make sure the shortening is cold. In the fridge for at least 8 hours is best so it’s cold to the core.
Take your flour and salt and put in a large bowl or stand mixer. Cut the shortening in to cubes and drop it into the dry mixture, either rub the shortening into the flour with your fingers or use the blending fixture on the stand mixer to mix until you have a breadcrumb like consistency.
Combine the Water and vinegar. Using two butter knives, or the dough hook on the mixer begin adding the wet ingredients into the bowl. When the dough begins to form stop adding the water/vinegar mix, depending on the flour and where you live you will need more or less of the water. Don’t overdo it. The dough should hold together easily and have a silky appearance but not wet.
Wrap it in cling rap and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour. The best pastry is not over worked, and is worked cold, with cold hands and if you have it on a cold surface!
Once the dough has rested cold for at least an hour, Take it out of the fridge and split in two for ease of handling. Dust your surface and rolling pin with flour, and begin to roll evenly on both sides. In my experience the pastry will hold together better if you roll it on both sides with the same number of passes and pressure for as long as you are able to lift it.
I made mince 24 mince pieces using a jarred filling from the store, and one 10 inch apple pie using canned apples that I got this past summer, a little sugar and some cinnamon.
Once all the cutting, filling and sealing was done, I turned to the scraps. It’s not great for the compost and I hate wasting anything, so if you have a dog or know someone with a dog that you could gift these “pawstry” bites to, follow along below.
Dog Biscuit (Pawstry) Recipe
Take your pastry scraps and work them together as best you can. Roll them out to about 3mm thick.
- 1/4 cup butter or lard
- 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
- 2 tsp Onion Powder
- 1.5 tsp Celery salt
- 1/4 tsp Liquid smoke
Melt the lard or butter so it is workable before an easy spread but not liquid. Add the dry ingredients. And mix well. Using a basting brush or a clean hand, rub the buttery mix all over your rolled out scraps.
Take a pizza cutter or knife and cut strips through the pastry in a diagonal crisscross.
Place the pieces on a lightly greased baking sheet and put in a 425°F oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool on a rack and store in a jar in a cool place (not the fridge).Y
Dogs will love you for this and you can give them a treat that saves waste! Be aware that not all dogs tummies like gluten in large amounts so be sure to ask before offering to a dog that’s not yours and don’t give them too many at once!
You can also add grated parmesan rind or cheese powder to this recipe if you really want to spoil them, but they will beg shamelessly for these smokey treats!
Let me know how it goes, Merry Christmas to you and yours, and every blessing for 2023! Grow – Eat – Repeat!