Around 1960 Mrs L. Heaney contributed this reassuringly-named recipe to a very small, typed collection of recipes from the Roslyn Methodist Church in Dunedin. Her instructions were simple. ‘Sift 4 oz flour with a pinch of salt; grate into it 4 oz butter straight from the fridge. Add 1 teasp vinegar & mix with milk until the flakes just adhere. Roll three times.’ Here is my slightly expanded version of the recipe. It is a good one. Demonstrated at the 2011 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.

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  • 115g flour

  • Pinch salt

  • 115g butter

  • 1 tsp vinegar

  • 5 tbsp (75ml) milk


  • 1.

    Make the pastry at least an hour before you need it.

  • 2.

    Sift together the flour and the salt, and grate the cold butter, taken straight from the fridge, into the bowl on top of them.

  • 3.

    Using a round-bladed table knife, mix in the vinegar, followed by the cold milk and keep mixing until the mixture begins to clump together.

  • 4.

    Turn out onto a floured board and pat into a rectangle. The flakes of butter will be clearly visible.

  • 5.

    With a short side of the rectangle facing you, take a clean, floured rolling pin and begin pressing the pastry out using short jerky strokes and extend out into a rectangle about 1cm thick. Try to keep the sides straight and the corners square.

  • 6.

    Mark the dough across into three equal sections, and fold up the lower third and push the edges gently with your rolling pin to seal them. Fold the top third down over the lower part and seal again on all sides.

  • 7.

    Give the dough a quarter turn so that the bottom edge is now on your right and a short side is again facing you. This is one ‘turn’.

  • 8.

    Repeat the rolling, folding and turning, three or four more times, using short movements and lifting the rolling pin frequently. There should no longer be any streaks of butter visible. (If the weather is warm and the pastry seems difficult to handle, wrap it in waxed paper and rest it in the fridge for 15 minutes between turns)..Keep the rolling pin floured and remove any fat or dough that adheres to it with a dry paper towel.

  • 9.

    Wrap well and chill until the pastry is quite cold before using it.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

  • Energy 215kj
  • Fat Total 16g
  • Saturated Fat 10g
  • Protein 2g
  • Carbohydrate 15g
  • Sugar 0g
  • Sodium 56mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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