Sweet pastry is classed as short pastry, which is a pastry that should be tender and it should melt in the mouth.
Makes: 4 x 12cm.
- 250gm plain flour
- 110gm caster sugar
- 140gm cold butter, chopped coarsely
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4tspn vanilla extract
- 1tspn iced water (approx.).
Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until mixture is smooth with no lumps of butter.
Add flour and mix briefly in electric mixer on a low speed. Add egg, vanilla and enough cold water so that mixture just starts coming together. Do not overmix.
Knead pastry gently, on a floured surface, until it is smooth. Be careful not to overwork the pastry as the end product will be tough. Overworking can also result in shrinkage when baking pastry shells.
Wrap pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Spray tart tins with vegetable oil. If using 12cm tins cut pastry into 4 even pieces.
One of the best tips I received from my tutors, was when rolling pastry always start in the shape you want to end up with. In this case, gently shape dough into a circle. Roll pastry out on a lightly floured surface so that pastry is slightly bigger than the tart tin.
Place pastry in tart tin being careful not to break the pastry. Trim the edges with a knife. If you have any left over pastry use it to patch the tart shell, if required. Rest pastry in fridge for 30 minutes.
Line empty tart shell with tin foil. Fill with ceramic beads (you can use rice if you don’t have beads). Place tins onto baking tray and bake at 180°C for 6 minutes.
Remove tart shells from oven. Take out the ceramic beads and remove the tin foil. Return tart shells to the oven and bake for a further 8-10 minutes or until shells are golden and cooked through.