Rich Shortcrust Pastry
Makes 1 x 23 cm pastry shell
- 1 heaped cup plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- a handful of sugar
- 100g cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- a splash of water
This is my go-to recipe for short-notice desserts, even if it is a simple batch of jam tarts dusted with icing sugar. I can virtually always find something to bung in a tart shell – there is likely always a jar of jam in the pantry.
Put the flour, salt, sugar and butter into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Add the egg yolk, and just enough water to form crumbs when pulsed. Pulse or handle the mixture as little as possible; if the pastry is over-worked, it will be tough.
Wrap the pastry in greaseproof paper or cling film and rest it in the fridge for half an hour before rolling out.
Variation: For a plain or non-sweet pastry suitable for savoury fillings, such as a quiche, omit the sugar and egg yolk.