Fine Puff Paste

Into one quart of sifted flour mix two teaspoonfuls of baking powder and a teaspoonful of salt; then sift again. Measure out one tea-cupful of butter and one of lard, hard and cold. Take the lard and rub into the flour until a very fine smooth paste. Then put in just enough ice-water, say half a cupful, containing a beaten white of egg, to mix a very stiff dough. Roll it out into a thin sheet, spread with one-fourth of the butter, sprinkle over with a little flour, then roll up closely in a long roll, like a scroll, double the ends towards the centre, flatten and re-roll, then spread again with another quarter of the butter. Repeat this operation until the butter is used up. Put it on an earthen dish, cover it with a cloth and set it in a cold place, in the ice box in summer; let it remain until cold; an hour or more before making out the crust. Tarts made with this paste cannot be cut with a knife when fresh; they go into flakes at the touch.

You may roll this pastry in any direction, from you, toward you, sideways, any way, it matters not, but you must have nice flour, ice-water and very little of it, and strength to roll it, if you would succeed.

This recipe I purchased from a colored cook on one of the Lake Michigan steamers many years ago, and it is, without exception, the finest puff paste I have ever seen.

Puff Paste For Pies

One quart of pastry flour, one pint of butter, one tablespoonful of salt, one of sugar, one and a quarter cupfuls of ice-water. Wash the hands with soap and water and dip them first in very hot and then in cold water. Rinse a large bowl or pan with boiling water and then with cold. Half fill it with cold water. Wash the butter in this, working it with the hands until it is light and waxy. This frees it from the salt and butter-milk and lightens it, so that the pastry is more delicate. Shape the butter into two thin cakes and put in a pan of ice-water to harden. Mix the salt and sugar with the flour. With the hands, rub one-third of the butter into the flour. Add the water, stirring with a knife. Stir quickly and vigorously until the paste is a smooth ball. Sprinkle the board lightly with flour. Turn the paste on this and pound quickly and lightly with the rolling-pin. Do not break the paste. Roll from you and to one side; or if easier to roll from you all the time, turn the paste around. When it is about one-fourth of an inch thick, wipe the remaining butter, break it in bits and spread these on the paste. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Fold the paste, one-third from each side, so that the edges meet. Now fold from the ends, but do not have these meet. Double the paste, pound lightly and roll down to about one-third of an inch in thickness. Fold as before and roll down again. Repeat this three times if for pies and six times if for vol-au-vents, patties, tarts, etc. Place on the ice to harden, when it has been rolled the last time. It should be in the ice chest at least an hour before being used. In hot weather, if the paste sticks when being rolled down, put it on a tin sheet and place on ice. As soon as it is chilled, it will roll easily. The less flour you use in rolling out the paste, the tenderer it will be. No matter how carefully every part of the work may be done, the paste will not be good if much flour is used. Maria Parloa.

Soyer's Recipe For Puff Paste

To every pound of flour allow the yolk of one egg, the juice of one lemon, half a saltspoonful of salt, cold water, one pound of fresh butter.

Put the flour onto the paste-board; make a hole in the centre, into which put the yolk of the egg, the lemon juice and salt; mix the whole with cold water (this should be iced in summer if convenient) into a soft, flexible paste with the right hand, and handle it as little as possible; then squeeze all the buttermilk from the butter, wring it in a cloth and roll out the paste; place the butter on this and fold the edges of the paste over, so as to hide it; roll it out again to the thickness of a quarter of an inch; fold over one-third, over which again pass the rolling-pin; then fold over the other third, thus forming a square; place it with the ends, top and bottom before you, shaking a little flour both under and over, and repeat the rolls and turns twice again as before. Flour a baking-sheet, put the paste on this and let it remain on ice or in some cool place for half an hour; then roll twice more, turning it as before; place it again upon the ice for a quarter of an hour, give it two more rolls, making seven in all, and it is ready for use when required.

Puff Paste Of Suet

Two cupfuls of flour, one-half teaspoonful of salt, one teaspoonful of baking powder, one cup of chopped suet, freed of skin, and chopped very fine, one cupful of water. Place the flour, sifted with the powder in a bowl, add suet and water; mix into smooth, rather firm dough.

This paste is excellent for fruit puddings and dumplings that are boiled; if it is well made, it will be light and flaky and the suet impreceptible. It is also excellent for meat pies, baked or boiled. All the ingredients should be very cold when mixing, and the suet dredged with flour after it is chopped, to prevent the particles from adhering to each other.