A question about a recipe: Erin McDowell's Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake

I have a question about the recipe "Erin McDowell's Strawberry Not-So-Short Cake" from Genius Recipes. What if I do not have a food processor?


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702551 June 1, 2018

Well, you'd simply have to do it manually, like the way people have been making pastries for the past couple hundred years.

If you have the opportunity to raid a family member's kitchen (partly someone who baked decades ago), you might be able to score a pastry blender such as these:


The wire ones are old school, more likely to be found in a relative's kitchen drawer. The blade based ones are newer construction.

If you can't find a pastry blender, just use the time-honored "two knife" method. Here's one YouTube video:


although there are plenty of others I'm certain.

People have been using this technique for centuries.

Either way, you can skip part of your next workout at the gym.

Best of luck.

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702551 June 1, 2018

Oh, I suppose for the sake of completeness, it's worth mentioning an even more "old school" method.

Cut up the butter into very small pieces and use your hands to mix. It is imperative that A.) the butter is very cold and B.) you work quickly so it doesn't soften too much. Experienced bakers know how to do this; without a doubt, one can't gain experience without doing it themselves, so you might consider trying this at some point.

Here's another YouTube video of a pastry chef showing three manual ways of cutting butter into flour:


A lot of old-timers use one or more of these three ways.

That said, if you plan on baking more in the future, a $5 pastry blender is probably a worthwhile expense. You might save a couple of bucks if you spend time scouring flea markets, but I don't think the time expended is worth the savings for something like this.

Your call though...

Smaug June 1, 2018

I heartily second the pastry blender, though my mother somehow survived cutting butter in with a table knife; learned it myself that way, but it's kinda slow. The rub in method can produce a really nice crust, particularly if you go for all butter, but my somewhat arthritic hands object to it strongly.

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