It would have been such a beautiful quiche *sob*!

Wow.  Just had an hilarious food fail.  About an hour ago I wasn’t seeing the hilarity of it so much but I’m over it, mainly thanks to a carrot cupcake.

Basically, about three hours ago, I decided to tackle my first home-made pastry.  I know you can buy it pre-rolled in the shop but I had spotted a very easy looking recipe for an asparagus and tarragon tart by Nigel Slater in last Sunday’s Observer Magazine.

In the recipe he said to mix 90g of butter with 150g plain flour softly with your fingertrips.  I did that and it all looked like it was going spiffingly.  Then, as Nigel had advised, I added an egg yolk to the mixture followed by about a teaspoon of really cold water.  I mooshed it about with my hands a bit and got really excited because it actually looked like dough!  I floured up my kitchen surface and put my ball of pastry there.  Then I started to roll.


So far, so good.  Or so I thought.

Oh dear.  It became quite clear quite soon that this was not, in fact, going to work at all.  It was quite crumbly and there were cracks all over the gaffe.

So, I consulted my Cornucopia Cookbook and looked at a few websites for extra tips and decided to roll the pastry into a ball again, wrap it in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for about 25 minutes.

All the while getting hungrier and hungrier, you understand.

I took the ball of dough out and started to roll it out again.  Same problem, it was just all crumbly and rubbish. Even though I could roll it out in a nice flat shape, when I tried to pick it up to transfer it to my quiche tin it just crumbled into nothing.


So at this point, I start to get cranky due to a decided lack of delicious home-made quiche in my belly.  I figured I’d add a bit more flour to the mixture.  Then a bit of cold water.  Then a bit more cold water.  Then some more flour.  And then, feck it, another egg yolk.

Then Niall intervened and told me to put. down. the. rolling. pin. and. step. away. from. the. kitchen.


He was right.  So I thought, dash it all, I’ll go out and get some of that ready to roll pastry stuff.  This is at about 7.15pm, nearly two hours after I’d started with the flippin’ pastry.  I went to my local Centra.  No pastry.  I went to Tesco on Parnell Street, followed by Lidl and Aldi.  No ready to roll pastry.  At this point I’m nearly in tears.

I get to M & S and the lovely friendly staff do their best to help me but they’ve no ready to roll pastry.  I decide to make a desparate dash to Tesco’s in Jervis, a place where I know for a FACT that they have the ready to roll pastry stuff only to find that it was CLOSED!!!!!!


It was then that I made my decision to go back to M&S and buy the delicious Mediterranean vegetable & soignon goat’s cheese quiche.  As well as the carrot cupcakes.  Problem solved!


Who says all ready-made meals are evil?

So, I’d really appreciate if any of you in the know can give me a hand here. I’d really like to make my own pastry so if you could tell me where I went wrong that would be swell.  Perhaps you have a fail-proof recipe that will prevent me from resorting to M&S cupcakes?  Please advise!

Obviously, I felt totally fine after eating this:


All 350 calories of it!  So worth it.  Absolutely GORGEOUS.  Thanks M&S!


I’m putting up this video as it’s a total FAIL at an Italian accent.  And also it’s really funny.  Joe Dolce with ShaddupYaFace.  Awesome.

Categories: Dinner Tags: , ,


  1. It’s probably mostly a humidity problem. Raining today? Wet air? Pastry is super finnicky to any weird atmospheres….when its humid, pastry can get reaaaallly crumbly (take it from someone who has had the same issue certain days when making pies or quiches…and nothing the next without doing a single thing different).

    the most successful pastry dough involves just simple crisco (veggie lard), super cold water (make sure it is reaaallly cold) and flour. this has been pretty fail proof in regards to weather.

    i have never made doughs with yolks but i can say, if you do it my way, and find it crumbly, add tbsp’s of cold water slowly and this should help it to form.

    fear not, and try again! seriously, weather plays HUGE role. chock it up to bad weather.

  2. Wow, that makes a lot of sense. It was a bit of a rainy day, but probably more importantly I think the washing machine was on or had just finished a cycle when I was making the pastry. And the washing machine is in the kitchen! That probably didn’t help.

    Thanks a million for the tip Jenna, I will definitely be trying it again. And it’s really nice to blame the weather instead of my inabilities to cook :)

  3. We all have our pastry fail days – though I don’t know if my pastry ever looked quite as menacing as your evil, laughing dough, lol!

    A couple of other thoughts for ya – as well as the water being cold, the butter should be cold too, so it doesn’t go all melty when you’re rubbing it in and, in general, the less handling of the dough, the better. Jenni has a great primer on pie crusts here: I’ve also used Delia’s “cheat’s” flaky pastry several times (usually for mince pies), where you grate frozen butter into the flour instead of rubbing it in, and it’s brill:,1109,RC.html

  4. I dare you to think of a pastry related pun.

    Its impossible.

  5. Hey spud – my dough was mean as you can see. Thanks for the tips, that’s all great stuff. I think it might be a good idea to try it again on the weekend when I have more time and room for failure!!

    Cov – the obvious one is “DOUGH!” in a pastry homage to Homer. Cmon then, let’s hear yours.

  6. Oh yeah – I just remembered I used gluten-free plain flour. Do you think that was a boo boo?

  7. Ah – the gluten-free flour would contribute to the disintegrating dough I expect – give it a lash with regular plain flour and cold butter and see how you go!

  8. Will do spud!

  9. Hello there! I am slowly re-emerging from Moving Hell, and I read your comment over at my place. So, I’ve wandered over here to see what is up. Very Big Bummer about the pie crust. DS is right–the GF flour won’t give you any structure at all. That being said, you probably would’ve been okay w/it if you just pressed it into the pan rather than trying to roll it out. I’ve never used GF flour, but I bet the resulting crust would be very crumbly.

    Looking forward to reading FAIL, Part II: In Which the FAIL is Overcome:)

  10. cant htink of a pastry pun :(

    I wish you failed at trifle.

    “It is but a trifle”.

  11. Ha-love the dough pic! Sums up my love for pastry which is why I would leave that to my mother…best pies ever!
    If you can find Crisco (as Jenna mentioned) it does make it much easier to roll than butter or suet. Not easy to find here though- sometimes Fallon & Byrne might have it but would be fairly small tin and dear there. You could also try Cookeen which is another type of shortening- in the refrigerated sections so would have to be room temp to use.
    The gluten free flour is definitely a pain- have made bread from it and was so crumbly that trying to spread butter on it resulted in the bread sticking to the butter instead of the butter sticking to the bread.
    If it has to be GF though you can try using Tritamyl flour which from memory has a slightly better result when baking.
    Love the posts so far…just dont have the energy to do much cooking these days and leaving it to M&S more often than not!

  12. ha ha that’s so funny, reminds me of pie I made from the observor a couple of weeks back – I bought pre-made pastry but it leaked it’s delicious contents all over my oven because it wasn’t sealed properly – I called it ‘Brocolli go fuck yourself’ yes I was very, very hungry. Shame I didn’t take any pictures – but I was pretty annoyed and my oven was a mess. I did make the lemon posset from the sunday papers – it was yum!

  13. Oh my. I’ve had the same thing happen to me. I always assume it’s my hot little hands! It’s all a bit hit and miss… So I’ve usually got some frozen stuff stashed away. Sssssh! Don’t tell anyone. What? I said that out loud?

    Carrot cupcakes soothe many, many troubles :-)

  14. there is no such thing as a dinner fail in this house……if ya can eat it, it;s deemed a success……

  15. o poor u that sounded awful i hate wenever stuff like that happens on an empty stomach :( lets get together for a movie soon i miss u, i got the last unicorn for my i pod but we wont watch it coz its actually a load of poorly written shit, it pains me to say it but its true. We could watch twice upon a time but im scared of tarnishing another childhood classic movie with my bitter adult cynicism!!! miss u, ur number one fan
    Marlene Diuretic

  16. OnLine Pastry Chef – yeah, I only thought about the gluten free flour thing after I’d read a few things about ‘the water will react with the gluten in this way…etc’ and I figured whoops! Hope most of the moving has been done at this stage and you’ll be back to normal soon :)

    Cov – I’d make a trifle if I didn’t think trifles were the spawn of some demon dinner lady. Blughsfhk. But your pun was good, I’ll give you that.

    Tenacious T – Thanks for stopping by! Loads of good tips there, thank you very much indeed. I’ve been hearing ‘Crisco’ a lot on the blogs that I’ve been looking at regarding ‘pastry failures’. Might try and hunt some out. Hope your ears are doing ok – was thinking of you last week when I experienced a bit of earache after ASIWYFA. I have ear plugs now and will not go to a gig without them! Thanks for writing that post about it, it really pushed me towards looking after my ears.

    Lola-Lu – “brocolli go fuck yourself” LOL!

    Jen – Jeepers, don’t be ashamed of having frozen stuff as a back-up, I totally understand! I’m still going to try making my own pastry, maybe this weekend, but I’ll probably get some of the frozen stuff to avoid total disappointment!!

    Manuel – word!

    Lorcs – thanks for visiting bro! Stop, we downloaded The Last Unicorn and you’re so right, it was rubbish!! I don’t care though, I still sang along to the corny songs. But yeah…we switched it off and watched Disney’s Robin Hood. A far superiour animated cartoon. Oodelaly oodelaly golly what a day! Talk to you soon pet x

  17. Oh blast that sneaky pastry! Its a really tricky thing to get right. Im gonna have a go myself someday soon.

    Hope you do a part 2 – WIN

  18. Hi Ciara – yeah it’s a sneaky one all right! If I do have a part 2 WIN there is definitely going to be some kind of victory dance video, that’s for sure.

  19. I’ve been cooking for 11 years now and am still afraid of pastry Aoife. At least you tried.

  20. Oh dear me, I needed that laugh … love the pictures! So sorry about the quiche though. Argh! It happens to the best of us. Shush … I’ll tell you my secret for crust … I buy the frozen kind already formed in the tin! I never ever make pastry crust because, honestly, the frozen stuff is really very good and I just can’t be bothered. There, now I’ve outted myself! ;)

  21. And by the way, that cupcake looks amazing! Well done.

  22. Hi Darragh – aw thanks! I’ll be trying again. I think what I need to do is have a pastry master class with my granny. She’s been making pastry for approximately 75 years so I think she’s got it down at this stage.

    Hey Diva!! So glad you got a laugh out of this post, believe me, eventually I did as well :) And I’m happy to have provided a platform for you to out yourself pastry wise. Thanks for the congrats on the cupcake, I ate it all myself :)

  23. Now this is a cookery post I can relate to.

    Poor you. In fairness pastry must be the hardest thing to cook with…not that I’d know. It’s ready meals all the way.

  24. Glad you sorted out some plugs! Ears are a bit better-going to some quiet gigs for a bit though.
    Had a quick look in Fallon & Byrne and no Crisco unfortunately. Will keep an eye out but a shame that I am only back from the States!
    BTW with The Last Unicorn- animation definitely dodgy but I still love the cheesy songs from the band America! Going to have that opening tune going through my head all day now…I’m Aliiivvveeee!

  25. Sorry, only just spotted this. Yup, I’m with spud. I have some hilarious pastry exploits if you’ve got several hours. Rachel Allen rolls hers between two sheets of clingfilm and when I tried it out I ended up with a bit squishy mess stuck to the film!!! x

  26. Oh haiii Lottie! Lovely to meet you at the sausage fest last night, hope you had fun in Le Cirk. The Guinness in The Stag’s Head was just too good to leave!

    Hi Tim – really glad to hear that your ears are on the mend. I can’t believe you’ve seen The Last Unicorn! And yeah, the soundtrack kicks ass :)

    Hi English Mum – glad to know I’m not just a total pastry doofus so! Will be trying it again, I think I’ll try Spud’s Delia recipe, it looks pretty good.

  27. “Lovely to meet you at the sausage fest last night, ” – Now that doesn’t sound at all salacious. It was a very quick pint then home to my bed. I do love La Cirk.

  28. Lottie – tee hee!

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