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I am a busy mum of two toddlers, so when I see a product that could help me make dinner quickly then I am tempted to try it. Particularly when I see it at a bargainous 7p compared to the normal 62 p while I am doing my Tesco shop.
Technically I can make pastry, but I am often tempted by the easier options of ready to roll pastry but the price can put me off. So, something that you just add water to is the next best thing. All you need is this pack, and a tablespoon to measure out 5-6 tablespoons of water to mix in. You are advised to do this with a fork. So far so good.
However, the mixture did not mix very well at all. I found there were some pretty substantial lumps in the mix. This wasn't a one off as I bought 2 packs of the mix, and both were the same. On closer inspection, the lumps were bits of lard that weren't mixed in. Ok. Not too disastrous, as I can use my fingertips to breadcrumb it like I would if I had started the process myself, so that is what I tried. I found though that it was impossible to fully mix the product and remove these lumps. I don't normally use lard myself when making pastry, so I am not sure if that is a problem you would associate with using lard rather than butter, which in home made pastry has never given me this problem, and I have never noticed it in the ready to roll packs either.
Rolling - well at least that bit went well. It was a bit sticky but that could be me adding too much water? So I just lightly floured the rolling pin and board and it rolled as it should, looked and smelled as it should.
Puff pastry - what can I say. Pastry that is designed to 'puff up' as it cooks so you get a nice satisfying layer on top of your pie. That is what an average consumer would expect from puff pastry. However, this is where this product let me down really badly. Both times it failed to rise at all in spite of me following instructions as on the pack. It looked more like shortcrust pastry.
Even worse, even though the top part of the pastry was cooked through, the bottom layer was still quite soggy and not that nice, so spoiling the product completely.
So, in summary, cheap it may be at the moment, but personally, I would rather either make it from scratch or buy another product on the market that may cost more but would give me a much tastier dinner at the end of the process. I won't be purchasing it again.