• Measure ingredients carefully. Too much liquid makes the dough soggy; too much flour makes the dough tough; too much shortening makes dough greasy and crumbly.
  • Chill pastry, covered, for up to 12 hours. This makes it easier to handle and keeps it from shrinking during baking.
  • Remove pastry from refrigerator 1 hour before rolling or shaping to avoid excess handling.

Pie Pastries

  • Add liquid to flour-shortening mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. Gently toss with a fork.
  • Pastry dough can be made ahead and refrigerated. When ready to use, bring to room temperature.
  • To roll out dough, use a floured rolling pin. Gently roll from center away from you and from center toward you. Rotate dough 1/4 turn, keeping surface lightly floured. Repeat until pastry is 2 inches larger in diameter than pie plate.


  • Shortcakes are made using the method for making biscuits. There are some differences in the ingredients used. Sugar, butter or margarine, cream and an egg are added or substituted for biscuit ingredients. Take care in handling of dough - over-mixing will result in a heavy, tough shortcake.
  • Shortcakes can be varied by simply changing the size or shape. Cut the shortcakes out using a 3-inch biscuit cutter for small individual shortcakes or, pat dough into 1 8- or 9-inch cake pan for a large, traditional shortcake. Use specially shaped pans for occasions such as Valentine`s Day and the 4th of July.
  • For a change in taste, serve shortcakes with a variety of fresh fruits and toppings.
  • Just before preparing the shortcake, toss the cut fruit with sugar to sweeten it and bring out the juices. By the time the shortcake is done, the sweetened fruit will be bathed in juicy nectar.

Cream Puffs

  • After adding the eggs, stir vigorously until batter becomes smooth.
  • For miniature cream puffs, drop 1 teaspoon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. For individual-sized puffs, use approximately 1/4 cup batter each.
  • Fill with meat or cheese fillings for appetizers. For a dessert, use your favorite pudding, fruit or ice cream.