This is an article which, if the laws of health were obeyed, would be banished from every table; for it unites the three evils - animal fat, cooked animal fat, and heavy bread. Nothing in the whole range of cooking is more indigestible than rich pie-crust, especially when, as bottom crust, it is made still worse by being soaked, or slack-baked. Still, as this work does not profess to leave out unwholesome dishes, but only to set forth an abundance of healthful ones, and the reasons for preferring them, the best directions will be given for making the best kinds of paste.
Good light bread rolled thin makes a good crust for Pan-Dowdy, or pan-pie, and also for the upper crust of fruit-pies, to be made without bottom crusts.
Very plain paste is made by taking a quarter of a pound of butter for every pound of flour. Still richer, allow three quarters of a pound of butter to a pound of flour.
Take a quarter of the butter to be used, rub it thoroughly into the flour, and wet it with cold water to a stiff paste.
Next dredge the board thick with flour, cut up the remainder of the butter into thin slices, lay them upon the flour, dredge flour over thick, and then roll out the butter into thin sheets, and lay it aside.
Then roll out the paste thin, cover it with a sheet of this rolled butter; dredge on more flour, fold it up and roll it out, and repeat the process till all the butter is used up.
Paste should be made as quick and as cold as possible. Some use a marble table in order to keep it cold. Roll from you every time.