Herb Pastry

Herb Pastry is an unusual savoury pastry which can be used for meat or fish pies, or flans. Another delicious idea is to bake the pastry blind and fill it with cream cheese and chives when cold.

6 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

3 oz. butter

1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried chervil egg yolks to 4 tablespoons cold water

Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the butter and cut it into small pieces with a table knife.

With your fingers, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Stir in the chives, parsley, thyme, cher-vil, egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of the water.

With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth and firm enough to roll out. If the dough looks too dry, add a little more water.

Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a circle about 4-inch thick. Lift the dough on the rolling pin and lay it over a 9-inch pastry case. Ease the dough into the tin and trim the edges with a knife.

If the pastry case is to be baked blind, preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6,200°C). Prick the pastry case with a fork. Line it with aluminium foil or greaseproof or waxed paper and half fill it with dried beans. Place the tin in the oven and bake the pastry case for 10 minutes. Remove the foil or paper and beans and bake for 5 minutes more, or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the pastry case from the oven and allow it to cool.

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