How to make a perfect pastry shell

Posted by The Huffington Post on Monday, March 23, 2018 02:33:24 A pastry shell is a thick, thin pastry shell that can be made in three basic steps: preparing the pastry dough, preparing the filling and then rolling the pastry into a pie shape.

Here’s how to make the perfect pastry shells.


Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Using a fork, roll out the dough into a round or rectangle and cut the dough in half.

For this recipe, I rolled out the pastry shell into a 20-inch by 16-inch circle.

Cut the circle in half again to make each half a rectangle.

For the filling: In another large bowl combine all of the ingredients, except for the butter.

Using your fingertips, scoop out about 2 tablespoons of the filling into each shell.

Then use a fork to fold the dough together into a tight ball.

Roll the ball into a ball.

Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Roll out the filling dough: Place the pastry shells on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the pastry balls are hot, gently press them into the parchment paper with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Then remove the paper and cool completely on a rack.


Roll pastry shells: When ready to eat, carefully place the pastry rolls in a bowl, filling them with the filling.

Place the shells on the parchment lined baking sheet, and gently press the pastry edges together to seal.

Place in the fridge to cool completely.


Roll filling dough into the shells: Using a pastry press or a pastry cutter, roll the filling out into a rectangle measuring at least 15 inches by 17 inches.

Transfer the dough to a piping bag fitted with a pastry tip.

Press the dough with the tip to form a ball and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour to harden.


Roll up the pastry: Roll out two pastry shells about 8 inches by 8 inches.

Place them in a piping bags fitted with piping tips and press them together.

Place a metal scraper in the center of the balls and roll out to about 4 inches.


Cut pastry: Cut a pastry ball about the size of a small coin and fold the edge of the pastry over.

Cut through the center with a knife or pastry cutter.

Place one of the ends of the cut pastry in the filling shell.

Place another pastry ball over the cut and cut it into two strips.

Repeat this process until all the pastry is used up.

For each pastry ball, place it in the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.

Place at room temperature for at most 1 hour.

Recipe Notes Recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum: Perfecting Perfect Pies by Lisa McQueen, a New York Times bestselling cookbook published by Little, Brown and Company, and a New Yorker award-winning cookbook.