This mixture will make enough pastry to line a 7 to 8 inch, 18 to 20 cm, flan tin, or make a 6 to 7 inch, 15 to 17 cm, fruit pie, (both to line the pie plate and also make a pastry lid).
You will need:
- 8 oz, 225 g, plain flour.
- a small pinch of salt.
- 4 oz, 110 g, Butter, taken straight from the fridge.
- 1 and a half tbsps of caster sugar.
- 1 egg yolk.
- several tbsps of cold water.
- Begin by sifting the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
- Take your butter from the fridge, break it into little pieces and rub it into the flour with your thumbs and the first two fingers of both hands, lifting up a little of the mix at a time, rubbing your thumbs against your fingers, then letting the mixture fall back into the bowl. Repeat the process until the mixture looks and feels like fine breadcrumbs. Keep your hands as cool as possible and don’t be tempted to overwork the pastry at this stage. (Please see my Glossary on making pastry for more detailed information).
- Now stir in 1 and a half tablespoons of caster sugar.
- Carefully separate the egg, putting the yolk into a small bowl and stirring in 2 tablespoons of cold water. (Please see my section on separating eggs for more detailed information).
- Pour this into the rubbed in fat and flour mixture.
- Now begin to mix the ingredients into a dough, you may need to gradually add several tablespoons of cold water at this stage. first use a flat-bladed knife to stir it, then when the mixture begins to stick together in your bowl, use your hands to form the pastry into a ball. The dough should be pliable but not too sticky.
- Wrap the pastry in a clean plastic bag or cling film, put it into the fridge and chill for at least half an hour before rolling it out to line your pie plate, or flan tin.
If you chill your pastry it will be more manageable and much easier to work with.
This pastry has a rich, buttery flavour and makes a nice alternative to other sweet shortcrust pastries.