Hi, I have never made pastry in food processor before, always by hand. I would like to have a go, using the Star-Topped Mince Pie recipe, but a bit scared. Do I use normal blade for this process or adifferent one? Thanks.
Nigella has made pastry in a food processor for many years and you will need to use the regular (chopping) blade in a food processor for this process. However the chilling of the pastry dough ingredients is very important and for the Star-Topped Mince Pie pastry dough (from Christmas and on the Nigella website), the flour and fats are put in the freezer for 20 minutes to make sure that they are suitably cold. If you have space in the freezer, you could also chill the food processor blade and bowl. Adding an acid, such as orange juice, to the liquid also helps to make the pastry slightly more tender, as the acid acts on the glutens in the flour.
When making the pastry dough make sure that you do not over-process the ingredients. Whiz the fats and flour until the mixture looks like porridge oats and then add the liquid carefully, stopping before the dough completely forms a ball. The dough should feel soft and should stick together when you squeeze a little of it between your fingers, but should not feel wet. Pastry dough should also be allowed to rest in the fridge before rolling, regardless of whether you make it in a food processor, freestanding mixer, or by hand.