French tarts Photo: Thinkstock
1 cup (150 g) plain flour
1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
100 g chilled butter, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons iced water
1. Sift the flours and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour between your thumbs and fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
2. Combine the lemon juice and water, pour over the flour mixture and stir in quickly with a round-bladed knife. When the dough starts to cling together, use your fingers to press the mixture gently together into a ball.
3. Knead the dough lightly by pressing and turning it in the bowl until fairly smooth, then place it on a sheet of plastic wrap, press it into a disc and wrap tightly to exclude the air. Rest the dough for 20 minutes in the refrigerator before rolling out.
4. After rolling out and lining the pie plate or flan tin, place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour before baking.
The resting and chilling steps are very important for pastry, as this allows the dough to ‘relax’ so that it will not shrink when it is baked.
Always handle pastry as little as possible to ensure a light result.
For sufficient dough to line a 25 cm pie plate or tin, or for a two-crust 20–23 cm pie, use 11⁄4 cups (185 g) each plain and self-raising flour, 130 g butter and 1⁄4 cup (80 ml) iced water (the quantities of salt and lemon juice remain the same).
Makes sufficient pastry to line a 20–23 cm pie plate or flan tin Prep 10 mins, plus 20 mins resting and 1 hour chilling Cook nil
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