1. a food made by mixing flour, fat, and water. The mixture is rolled flat and used for making pies and other food.
2. a type of cake made from sweet pastry
Origin and usage
From the Late Middle English word ‘paste’, influenced by the Old French ‘pastaierie’, pastry traditionally refers to the dough created by mixing flour, water and fat, but it can also refer to a cake made from sweet pastry.
Originally made by the Egyptians, one of the earliest forms of pastry was made by combining flour and water into a paste which was then wrapped around meat to be baked. Pastries were later developed in the Middle East and would eventually be brought to Europe, gaining popularity in the medieval period. By the 1600s, different types of pastry were developed, such as flaky pastry which is made from many thin layers or puff pastry which is a very light mixture with a lot of air in it.
Pastry is often used as a casing for sweet fillings. Filo and choux are examples of different types of pastry used to make sweet pastries, while other varieties such as croissants or Danish pastries are made with yeast.
“There are only four great arts: music, painting, sculpture, and ornamental pastry – architecture being perhaps the least banal derivative of the latter.”
“What I like about cooking is that, so long as you follow the recipe exactly, everything always turns out perfect. It’s too bad there’s no recipe for happiness. Happiness is more like pastry – which is to say that you can take pains to keep cool and not overwork the dough, but if you don’t have that certain light touch, your best efforts still fall flat.”
filo pastry, puff pastry, flaky pastry, shortcrust pastry
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
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