Shortcrust pastry

Shortcrust pastry
Shortcrust pastry Photo: Natalie Boog

This recipe comes from my friend Damien Pignolet. This quantity can be used to line a 22cm, 24cm or 26cm loose-bottomed flan tin, with varying amounts left over. I use it for both sweet and savoury tarts as I prefer it to sweet shortcrust pastries.

Ingredients

180g unsalted butter

240g plain flour

pinch of salt

1/4 cup water

Method

Remove butter from the refrigerator 30 minutes before making pastry.

Sift flour and salt onto a marble pastry slab or workbench. Chop butter into smallish pieces and toss lightly in flour. Lightly rub to combine partly.

Make a well in centre and pour in water. Using a pastry scraper, work water into flour until you have a very rough heap of buttery lumps of dough (I am the daughter of a builder, and this action always reminds me of my dad working a much larger well of water into a ring of cement powder). Using the heel of your hand, quickly smear pastry away from you across the workbench. It will combine lightly. Gather together, then press quickly into a flat cake and dust with a little flour. Wrap pastry in clingwrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

When required, roll out pastry, dusting generously with flour as necessary. Line tin or dish, then line pastry with foil and fill this with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 200C for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 5 minutes.