Who remembers Cranks? This wholemeal shortcrust pastry recipe is from my old, oh so old and beloved Cranks’ Recipe Book and each time I go through it I am overwhelmed by this feeling of nostalgic happy days and the first ever vegetarian, organic, wholefood restaurant in London. Started by David Canter and his wife Kay, Cranks was one of the first to promote wholesome and ethical vegetarian food but sadly Cranks closed down in 2001 paying the price for not keeping up with times, not cutting costs and serving food on hand-thrown pottery plates and refusing to compromise on the high standards in their kitchen which had made them so popular in the 60s.
Just follow the instructions below and you will not fail. The trick with all pastry is to keep things cool and don’t laboriously knead the dough…. plant based butter straight from the fridge, cool bowl, cold water and rub the flour and margarine lightly with your finger tips, quickly pull pastry together and roll into ball and leave in fridge for use later.
The pastry measurements below are for 450 grams of pastry which will give you enough to cover the bottom of a 10 inch flan dish – to calculate the amount of pastry, add the weight of the flour with the margarine, in this case 300+150=450
Note: For pastry using white flour omit the baking powder
300 grams wholemeal flour (I used Allinson’s wholemeal flour)
150 grams plant based butter (keep it cold in the fridge before use)
3 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
45-50 ml cold water
- Put the dry ingredients in a bowl and margarine. Rub together with your fingertips to mix margarine with the flour – should resemble breadcrumbs
- Add cold water and form a dough
- Wrap in cling film, shape the dough into a ball (easier with the cling film on) and leave in fridge for 30 minutes. It is important to keep pastry cool at all times
- Flour a large pastry board or work surface and roll out pastry to fit dish
- Bake according to instructions in recipe