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:
- Butter into brown sugar and to add the flour to make an Apple or Fruit Crisp. Try this Apple Crisp Recipe from About Desserts/Baking
- Shortening or lard into flour for Baking Powder Biscuits. Try this Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe from About Busy Cooks
- Shortening or lard into flour for Pie Pastry. Try this Pie Pastry Recipe from About Southern U.S. Cuisine
- Cream cheese into sugar or other dry ingredient for a Cheesecake mixture. Try this Heavenly Cheesecake Recipe from About Home Cooking
- To chop or mash boiled eggs before adding dressing for Egg Salad sandwich mixture. Try this Egg Salad Sandwich Recipe at About Coffee/Tea
Pastry blenders are very economical and durable. They are usually available where housewares and kitchen gadgets are sold. Ive 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 youll quickly develop other uses for and one that you wont want to be without.