Initially recommended for his Toffee Apple Tart it is ok for other sweet tarts. When done carefully it is indeed excellent!
Yield: Makes 11” (28 cm) round or 10” (25cm) square tart. I had to work on making it stretch into a 25 cm square pan, but t it was worth all the effort!
Optional: 1 vanilla pod
- 125g butter
- 100g icing sugar
- A small pinch of salt
- 255g flour
- Zest of ½ a lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons cold milk or water
- Score down the length of the vanilla pod, if using, and remove the seeds by scraping a knife down the inside of each half (keep the pod for making vanilla sugar).
- Cream together the butter, icing sugar and salt and then rub in the flour, vanilla seeds, lemon zest and egg yolks – you can do all this by hand or in a food processor. When the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs, add the cold milk or water.
- Pat and gently work the mixture together until you have a ball of dough, then flour it lightly and roll it into a large sausage shape – don’t work the pastry too much otherwise it will become too elastic and chewy, not flaky and short as you want it to be.
- Wrap the dough in foil and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
- Remove it from the fridge, slice it up and line a tart form with the slivers. Push them together, and then tidy up the sides by trimming off any excess. I often roll the pastry between two sheets of baking paper and then fit it into the form.
- Place the tart into the freezer for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF,
- Take the pastry out of the freezer and bake blind for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden. You want to blind bake it as long as the rim is pale. Once it is getting brown, take out the blind-bake material (beans, stones.. whatever you use) and finish baking with an open shell. It really needs to be baked well, if there is no more baking afterward. And the pastry is indeed fantastic, but must be baked until almost crunchy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool down or proceed with whatever the recipe requires.
If you will use this one as pre-baked shell for fruit etc., as you lay out the pastry, make sure there are no holes in the bottom and the wall of the shell, as the glaze must not seep out of the baked shell. .