This year, before you step into the kitchen to wield your holiday whisk, consider brushing up on a few kitchen science fundamentals. By: Lisa Bell & Nicole Rees
Making perfect pastry depends mostly on how well you coat flour proteins with fat—more difficult in a low-fat recipe. You want to leave small clumps of fat in the dough (here, from vegetable shortening) so they'll melt during cooking and give off steam, creating luscious layers. Meanwhile, we melted the butter so it would coat more than it would in solid form.