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Pastry Blenders - Essential for Good Blending Results

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Pastry Blender

Pastry Blender

Photo: © Mifflin
Pastry blenders have been kitchen essentials for decades and they continue to have a very important function in food preparation. Whether you’re an avid pastry chef or occasional baker, this kitchen essential can ensure a proper blending of ingredients which can lead to great baking results.

Not sure when and how to use a pastry blender? They are used to manually ‘cut in’ food items such as butter, shortening or lard into dry ingredients to ensure an even concentration. Blending these ingredients with a spoon or fork is more difficult and takes longer, especially if the butter or shortening has not reached room temperature. Here are just some examples of when to use a pastry blender and a few About Recipes to try out:

To cut-in or blend: Using a pastry blender is easy. Just insert into the shortening, push through while slightly rotating the blender a quarter spin, which cuts and blends in the same operation. Repeat as needed to obtain a good blend or crumbly mixture. You do occasionally have to clear or remove ingredients that stick to the side of the blender and a butter knife works well for this. Refrigerated ingredients like butter or shortening should be at room temperature for easiest blending.

Pastry blenders are very economical and durable. They are usually available where housewares and kitchen gadgets are sold. I’ve used steel strip and wire models and found them equally functional. Stainless steel models would reduce the risk of rusting and watch that the handle is securely attached and does not have crevices that could make cleaning difficult. They are usually dishwasher safe or hand wash immediately after use. A handy kitchen tool that you’ll quickly develop other uses for and one that you won’t want to be without.

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