“ Brand: Jus-Rol / Type: Pastry „
I started buying Jus Rol shortcrust pastry last year when I saw a two for 1 offer in Tesco. I have always made my own pastry, not often but when I felt like it. Buying this Jus Rol shortcrust pack changed how often and how much I eat dramatically.
The ease and convenience of using this pastry is a double edge sword though, you may find you are wishing you had a lot of preparation and washing up to do, rather than exercise to remove all the extra calories...
There are 559kcal per 100 g so that is over 5000 calories in the pack at 34% saturated fat. I am halfway through the first slab which I bought a few days ago, so I think food like this can become addictive. I use it for snacks as well as proper cooking like quiches.
It comes in a blue pack in two frozen blocks, I always put one in the freezer and one in the fridge. It is ready to roll out or squash into shape within a about 6 hours. It costs £3 for a full 1 kg pack of the two slabs of pastry, the last one I bought this week was 50p off.
I most often just pull some pastry off and roll it out into a small circle and make a few of those and out cheese and sliced mushrooms on it with pepper and put it under the grill. This takes quite a while, and the pastry stays white for about 15 minutes then slowly goes brown. It is very tasty and I even eat the raw pastry while I am waiting and am still alive!
It says there are no added flavourings or preservatives the ingredients are listed as -
'Wheat Flour,Vegetable Oil ,Water ,Sugar ,Salt ,Emulsifier: Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids'
It does contain sugar and salt so I imagine that is where the addictive element is that I have found. If you have to finish a pack of maltesers as soon as you open them or cannot stop thinking about the cake in the fridge then this is something you should avoid.
It's not often that I write a review about foods and food stuff, but I do dabble in this art every so often when I come across something simple, tasty, or of good value... or even a combination of all three. This time I am going to delve into the 'simple' category. Plus I wanted to have a change from reviewing music albums, which I appear to have been doing quite a lot of late. There is quite a difference between frozen pastry and heavy metal, I know... but what the heck... If this frozen pastry was a metal album, it would be right at the top of the pile, the Metallica of pastry, if you will. But enough music and metal analogies for now, let's talk pastry.
I like pie. Yes, I do... I kid you not. Pie is great. And there is no greater a feeling than of making your own pie. I have been making pies of various fillings for over a decade now. I started when I was married, making the pies for my ex wife and I. Then I took a break from it for a while and have started making pies again for me and the kids when they stay over. I have to add here that my pies are quite simple and dead easy to make, this is a 'simple' review don't forget... but I will end this review with a few recipes so you can judge for yourself. I am not a great cook and things like Master Chef are well beyond me... I am sure those two guys on it would not think my pies are great, but suffice to say that the kids and I love them.
Each pack of Jus Rol shortcrust (you can opt for puff pastry as well) contains two approximately 5 inch square chunks of frozen pastry which is uncooked. It usually takes two and a half hours to defrost them at room temperature, or you could leave them overnight in the fridge. The price is around two pounds, but look out for BOGOF offers. The ingredients are Wheat Flour, Vegetable Oil, Water, Sugar, Salt, Emulsifier, Mono and Diglycerides of fatty acids. I find that one chunk will do four servings of pie, if served with vegetables. Once the pastry is defrosted it is very easy to roll and does not break - make sure you put flour on you rolling counter and use a rolling pin. From here you can make whatever you wish with your pastry. Like I said, Simple. I have to admit, I cannot make 'proper' pastry, but this frozen Jus Rol is just the same as if you made it yourself, it cuts out all that bother and you can get on with making your pastry based creations.
To make a standard pie, I use one chuck and cut it in two. I then roll enough for the pie base, I use a simple dinner plate. I tend to put a slight bit of oil on the plate to stop it from sticking and put the pie base there, then add the filling. I then roll the top out and put it on top (nip the top to the bottom with thumbs or a fork so it is sealed correctly, then put in a re-heated oven - at about 200 degrees. You can brush it with milk before you put it in the oven if you wish. Cook until brown, then eat! We tend to have leftovers and my daughter will get creative and make some very delicious pastries with chocolate spread, which we have for dessert.
#Some pie filling recipes:#
Cheese and onion pie (as per picture)
Prepare your pie as above. Chop up the onion and then fry them until soft. Add a quarter cup of milk and an egg. Give it a mix. The amount of cheese is all up to you, but I like to use a lot! Put a small amount into the mixture and stir. Go over to your pie and grate cheese straight onto pie base. Add the mix, spreading evenly. Grate more cheese over the top. Cook as above. My kids don't really like egg and found this one too 'eggy' so I made a another without the egg and milk and that was a bit success.
#Meat and Potato Pie#
Chop up your onion and put in large pan with a dash of oil. Fry until nearly soft and add the mince. Brown the mince and add two beef oxos with hot water. Add in a sprinkling of mixed spices. Peel and chop your potatoes and add to the pan. Simmer for a while until the potatoes are nearly soft. Add the pie base, etc.
These are just a few of my own recipes, but you can make your own of course! The fun in pie making is deciding what to make and seeing the end result. But of course you don't need this pastry for pies, it is great for quiches and sausage rolls too.
I bought a pack of Jus-Rol frozen shortcrust pastry blocks ages ago, stuffed it in the freezer and forgot all about my pie-making plans. (Prices for a kilo pack are around the £2.50 to £3 mark in most supermarkets).
Recently I dug it out, with a vision of pasties. I let one block (500g) thaw overnight and when I came to use it in the morning, was pleased with the texture and consistency of the pastry dough. It had survived a lengthy spell in the freezer (longer than the recommended year or so - oops!) with no ill effects, neither being too soggy or too dry for use. The pastry thaws within an hour or so to a workable dough, so doesn't require as much time as I gave it. I have also defrosted another block using the microwave since, although that isn't a recommended method on the packet. As long as you're careful, I can't see any reason why not to speed up the process this way if you're in a hurry for pastry.
The shortcrust pastry is a pale beige colour, and on a lightly floured surface rolls out easily and smoothly. It smells of nothing in particular, just normal pastry.
I managed to get six small pasties out of the rolled pastry, with a bit left over for marking which was which with initials (and for the cat who fancied a bit, and who am I to deny him?). I made proper Cornish pasties (if only in the sense that they were made in Cornwall!) My choice of fillings was slightly unusual, although you could say quite traditional: left-overs, just like the tin-miners used to have. I didn't go so far as to put a dessert in one end, however!
Then it was into the oven for 20 minutes or so at 150 degrees, until the pastry was an appetising golden brown. How long you cooked yours for would depend on what you were making. The pastry is ideal for all sorts of pies and there's usually a recipe suggestion on the pack, currently 'Quick Plum & Apple Tarts'. You can also access the Jus-Rol website for ideas and demonstrations.
The taste of the pastry was very nice, complementing the contents beautifully. It was light and crumbly in the mouth, almost biscuity, while filling. The pasties were a really successful meal that the children enjoyed as well.
I was very happy with the results I got with this product and I have used it again several times recently. It's very easy to use, is very convenient and tastes pretty good. I can't help but feel I'm cheating (since I am!) but would totally recommend it. It saves all the faff of making pastry yourself and comes out well every time. It's a great thing to use when you want to knock up a quick yet filling meal using left-overs or bits & pieces.
The pastry is suitable for most people including vegans, (although it wouldn't suit anyone with a wheat intolerance being mostly flour & vegetable fat). Further information on this and other Jus-Rol products are available on the Jus-Rol website.