Basic French Pastry
|Butter/Margarine||1 Pound, well chilled (4 sticks)|
|All purpose flour||4 1⁄4 Cup (68 tbs), sifted|
|Ice water||1 Cup (16 tbs)|
|Lemon juice||2 Tablespoon|
1. Cut 1/2 pound (2 sticks) of the butter or margarine into flour with a fork or pastry blender in large bowl until mixture is crumbly and pale yellow. (Keep remaining 2 sticks butter or margarine chilled for Step 4.)
2. Stir ice water and lemon juice all at once into crumbly mixture. Continue stirring with a fork until mixture is completely moistened and pastry is very stiff. Wrap in waxed paper, foil or plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.
3. Unwrap the pastry and roll out to an 18x12-inch rectangle, on well-floured pastry cloth or board. Pastry should be 1/4-inch thick. Roll straight, lifting the rolling pin each time as you reach the edge, so pastry will be evenly thick.
4. Slice reserved 1/2 pound very cold butter or margarine into thin even pats over two-thirds of pastry to form a 12-inch square.
5. Fold uncovered one-third of pastry over middle one-third; fold opposite end over top. Then fold pastry in thirds crosswise to make a block. Now you have 9 layers of pastry with pats of butter or margarine between each. Roll out again to an even, 18x12-inch rectangle; repeat folding as above; chill 30 minutes.
6. Repeat rolling, folding and chilling 3 more times. Pastry is stiff and cold, so first pound firmly with your rolling pin to flatten, watching carefully to keep thickness even. After rolling and folding the last time, wrap and chill pastry overnight, or several days, then shape.