Charlotte Morgan shows us the best way to make shortcrust pastry before rolling it out, lining a pastry tin with it, and baking it blind to make a pastry case, ready to be used for quiches and tarts.
Ingredients for shortcrust pastry (enough to line a 20cm tart tin)
250g flour, sifted
120g butter, sat out of the fridge for 15 minutes and cubed
Pinch of salt
2-4 tbsp cold water, or enough to make a dry dough
1 x 20cm loose-bottomed tart tin
How to make the pastry
1. Put the cubed butter and flour together in a large bowl - make sure you sift the flour, and that the bowl you combine everything in is cold.
2. Add a pinch of salt. Using your (perferably cold) fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, bringing the mixture up to a height so that it collects air as it falls down into the bowl (this will ensure that your pastry isn't heavy).
3. Once you've reached a breadcrumby texture, add enough cold water - a tablespoon at a time - to bind everything together. You shouldn't need much more than three tablespoons.
4. Once it looks like you have enough water in the bowl, bring the mixture together into a ball, using your hands. The pastry should be relatively dry, but the bowl should be clean of any residue once you've finished.
5. Wrap your pastry ball in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes - preferably half an hour.
How to line a tin and bake blind
6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, turning the dough 90 degrees every now and then to make sure it's even. You should end up with a circular shape.
7. Using the rolling pin to help you, lift the pastry up and over your pastry tin. Gently mould the pastry into the tin using your finger. Prick the base all over with a fork.
8. Cover the pastry-lined tin with a piece of greaseproof paper, and tip in some baking beans (or lentils/rice if you don't have them).
9. Place in the oven on top a preheated oven sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. It should be golden and dry.
10. Trim the edges off and then you're done!
Recipes to use shortcrust pastry with...
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