What is a Pastry Cutter?

Author: Chef Toby

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What is a pastry cutter? 

A pastry cutter, also known as a pastry blender, is a kitchen tool that is commonly used for baking. It has a handle to grip onto and four dull metal blades on the opposite end. Pastry cutters are usually made out of metal, like stainless steel, and have a wooden, metal, or plastic handle. 

pastry cutter
Pastry Cutter

What are pastry cutters used for?

Pastry cutters are used to cut fats, particularly solid butter, into flour and dry ingredients in order to make doughs. The metal blades allow the butter to remain in chunks rather than combine fully with the flour. When the dough is baked, the butter melts and creates pockets of butter in the pastry. This is what gives baked goods a “melt in your mouth” feel. According to the experts at Land O’Lakes, the pieces of butter should be about the size of peas for the perfect flakey pastry!

Substitutes For A Pastry Cutter

While a pastry cutter is a useful tool that is easy to use, it is not necessary. You can also use two forks, a knife, a box grater, or a food processor to help cut the butter

Our Recipes Using A Pastry Cutter 

Scones: Video Recipe Lesson For Kids

In our recipe for scones with orange zest, Chef Sydney uses a pastry cutter to combine the ingredients and make a crumbly dough. 

how to make scones kids cooking

Other Recipes Using A Pastry Cutter

Buttermilk Biscuits

To make biscuits, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. To this add cold butter and combine with a pastry cutter until it forms a crumbly texture. Then, add buttermilk and honey and combined. On a floured surface, roll out the dough until it is about 3/4 inch thick (learn about rolling pins). Use a biscuit cutter or round cookie cutter to make the biscuits. Place them on a baking sheet, brush them with buttermilk, and bake them until golden brown. Serve them for breakfast with some over-easy eggs or pair them with fried chicken for a southern-style dinner!

Flakey Pie Crust

Make a delicious pie crust from scratch with only 4 ingredients. Start by combining flour and salt into a bowl. Using the pastry cutter, add cut in cold (or frozen) butter until a crumbly dough forms. Slowly add in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough sticks together. On a floured surface, roll the dough with a rolling pin until it is 1/8 of an inch thick. Add it to a baking dish and fill with your favorite pie filling (we love apples with cinnamon or lemon curd.)

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