3 minutes Inspiration

5 Ways To Use: Shortcrust Pastry Block

While the early pastry history is possessed by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, we have certainly played a significant role in pastry’s proud past. Think Cornish Pasties, Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Bakewell Tarts to name just three. The foundation of many a classic and much-loved dish, a quality shortcrust pastry can be used for stunning sweets and savoury masterpieces but it’s also crucial for many of our favourite on-thego, handheld snacks. Our Country Range Frozen Shortcrust Pastry Blocks are a terrific tool for busy chefs providing immense flavour and versatility. Chefs just need to thaw, roll, fill and bake for textbook pastry every time.

1 – Super Savoury Pies

“We love a savoury pie in the north, and a quality shortcrust pastry is crucial for success. Personally, a chicken and leek pie is my favourite to make and eat. It’s also a great pie to make using roast chicken leftovers.”

2 – A Quiche Niche

“I think the mighty quiche is too often forgotten. With quality pastry and some creative fillings, a quiche can be a delicious, simple and cost-effective dish, whether as a snack, lunch or supper. Especially great in summer, my favourite is a quiche made with broccoli and Shropshire Blue Cheese.”

3 – Mini Marvels

“Small pies and pasties can be fantastic finger food and great for canapés at events. The shortcrust pastry is the canvas, and you should never run short of creative fillings – just take inspiration from around the world. South American empañadas with a little bit of a spicy kick always go down well.”

4 – Tantamount To Tarts

“In the world of desserts, a beautifully constructed tart takes some beating. Tarte tatin, custard tarts, treacle tart, meringue tart – the list goes on and on. I enjoy a classic lemon tart for the perfect post meal palate cleanser or an irresistibly sweet strawberry tart, especially when the British strawberry season is in full bloom. We often make miniature tarts to serve with our afternoon teas for real visual appeal.”

5 – Seductive Sweet Pies

“For many people, some form of sweet pie is probably their first dessert memory. Apple, blackberry, lemon meringue, cherry, pumpkin – there are so many iconic classics. My two top picks though are a Pecan Pie and a Banoffee Pie. These aren’t meant to be miniature in my eyes. Make them big and serve in loaded slices.”

About Lynn Mitchinson, Catering Lecturer at New College Durham

Born in Newcastle, Lynn Mitchinson has been a chef for over 40 years after qualifying from Monkwearmouth College in Sunderland in the mid-80s. After helping the Gosforth Park Hotel win a host of awards including Hotel of the Year in her first role, Lynn worked for the prestigious Turnberry Hotel in Ayrshire before heading to Canada for eight years to work at the Four Seasons in Toronto. On arriving back in the north-east, Lynn took the role of head chef at Sunderland College’s education restaurant. Enjoying the buzz of working with students, Lynn never looked back and has dedicated the last 20 years to nurturing thousands of young chefs from the northeast. Lynn joined New College Durham in 2017 and has helped build a fantastic reputation for developing talent.