Puff pastry for pragmatic purists

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Too much of a purist for ready-made puff pastry with its ethanol, palm oil, emulsifiers and acidity regulators (check it out if in doubt: http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=266524232)?

Neither the time nor the inclination for all the rolling and re-rolling required for making your own?

Then I have the pragmatist’s solution for you, from the family of curd cheese pastries – buttery, light and perfect for pairing up with jams and jellies out of the orchard!

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Puff pastry for pragmatic purists

Prep. Time: about 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

Makes about 15 pastry pieces i.e. croissants, or 1 tart base

Quark or ricotta                                             200 g

Butter, cold                                                    200 g

All-purpose flour                                            200 g

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar (or 1 tsp for a sweeter pastry)

1) Combine the flour with the salt and sugar. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until you pretty much have a breadcrumb texture.

2) Make a hollow in the middle, tip in the quark/ricotta and quickly work into the flour mixture to form a soft, fairly moist dough (do not over-mix).

3) Cover and chill for 30 minutes before using.

4) Use as you would puff pastry i.e. for croissants or sweet & savoury tart bases. Bake at 200°C for about 15 minutes (180°C fan oven).

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