To make deliciously crumbly, buttery light pastry is an art. There are so many tips mothers have passed down to get the perfect pastry.
Here are a few that I think make all the difference:
Keep the butter cool and slightly soft when blending into the flour,
Have your eggs at room temperature,
Cut the butter into the flour as little as possible to get it to clump into a ball,
Very lightly knead the pastry to get it to hold together - the less you touch it, the lighter the pastry will be,
Wrap it in clingfilm and chill for an hour at least before rolling out, you can also roll it out, cut it into shape and then chill it on the tray/dish prior to baking.
This will make the most delicious Figgy Christmas mince pies, pecan pies and delicious summer stone fruit and frangipane pies!!!
1 cup plain flour
85g butter or butter substitute - cubed 1cm
3 Tbsp caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp cold water
Place butter and flour in a bowl and cut it together with a dinner knife until it is fine a crumbly. Add sugar, egg yolk and water. Continue to cut together until it forms a soft ball. Very lightly knead the pastry, as little as possible to keep it light and crisp. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour. Roll out on a floured surface 1/2cm thick.
Cut into small rounds for mini tarts or Christmas mince pies, onto a tray for a rustic stonefruit frangipani pie or roll into a pie dish for traditional tart.
Bake at 180C for 12 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Enjoy, savour & devour!