29 Mar Basic Shortcrust Pastry
Everyone needs a super versatile pastry recipe in their repertoire. Once you’ve made this one, you won’t believe how quick and easy it is – it probably takes longer to clean the food processor than it does to make the actual pastry. It’s perfect for any tart or quiche recipe, sweet or savoury (just omit the icing sugar for a savoury recipe). So crisp and buttery…
The secrets to good pastry: 1) make sure your butter and water are ice cold, and 2) don’t overwork the pastry – stop mixing as soon as it comes together. As simple as that!
Whenever I need to make a batch, I double the recipe and freeze one quantity. Its really no extra work at all, and means next time I want to whip up a tart I can skip straight to the filling! The pastry can be frozen for 3 months. Simply defrost the pastry overnight in the fridge.
(Makes enough to line a 24cm tart tin)
1 large egg yolk
30ml iced water (2 tbsp)
200g cake flour (1½ cups)
100g very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (7 tbsp)
25g icing sugar (50ml)
- Mix the egg yolk and iced water together lightly.
- Process flour, butter, salt and sugar together in a food processor until the mixture looks like fine crumbs*.
- Add the egg yolk and water mixture and process just until pastry forms a ball – do not overmix.
- Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Roll out to approx 4mm thick and use to fill tart tin.
- Use as per recipe or if baking blind (without filling), prick with a fork then bake with baking paper and baking beans at 200°C for 12-15 minutes, then remove paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.
*If you don’t have a food processor, use your fingers to rub the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then slowly add in the beaten egg/water mixture and mix until it comes together.