Pastry, Sweet and Short (enough for 2 large tart dishes (12 inch) or 3 medium (8 inch)
This is the best, biscuityist pastry, but it is fairly tricky to handle. Using the cling film trick makes it much easier and you end up with a brilliant result. The ingredients are set out in easy to remember quantities so that next time you can do it without the recipe. This is the maximum amount of sugar you can add and successfully roll it out. If you add less then it is easier to use. This works with my treacle tart or lemon tart but also many, many other great pudding recipes.
I small bag of plain flour (500g)
Just under half a small bag of sugar (220g)
1tsp vanilla essence or vanilla paste (see favourite ingredients)
Put all the ingredients in a food processor, make sure it is all mixing, then when it comes together stop. Put it on a board and just kneed it until it comes together. Cut in half, wrap each half in cling film. Fridge one for at least an hour, freeze the other for another time.
Turn the oven onto 180 Degree C.
Rolling, rolling, rolling (the cling film trick)
Grease the tart dish with a little butter all round. Take cling film put it on a surface, make it larger than the tart dish double sided. Work the pastry a little in your hands to make it an even round. Put the pastry in the middle of the cling film. Put cling film on top, same size again. Then roll the pastry between the cling film. Don’t flour the cling film, this stops the trick working. Once it is to size (an inch larger than the dish all round), take off the top cling film. Put the middle of the pastry open side down in the tart dish and gently push it into the sides. There should be overhang of pastry all round (this is good). Take the cling film off the top of the pastry carefully and then fold the overhanging sides down. Check for any tears and fix them with extra pastry (cut off bits, etc.). Prick it round with a fork. Put it is the fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Bake it blind
Take the pastry out of the fridge, get some baking parchment and put it in the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake it in the oven for 10 minutes (until the sides are beginning to colour light brown). Then take out the beans and bake for another 10 minutes until it is crisp. Then get an egg yolk and a dash of milk, mix together and paint onto the pastry. Bake for 2 minutes to seal the pastry. Finally, run a sharp knife around the top of the pastry at the flat with the edges of the tart dish. This gives a perfectly even edge and gives the kids the overhanging and very crispy pastry bits to eat in the meantime.