This is a delightfully crispy, buttery and lightly sweet pastry perfect for making tarts and pies with. I blind bake a tart shell days in advance ready to fill and devour when I have guests over. Or if I’m making little mini tarts filled with my cointreau and orange sweet fruit mince, I don’t even bother pre-baking, I just whack them in the oven to bake all in one go! After I have cut my shapes for tarts I’m left with odd shaped little scraps which, when baked for 12 minutes on a tray and dusted with icing sugar whilst still warm, make excellent morning tea biscuits for my husband to enjoy with his coffee. And in it’s raw state, a lump of this pastry freezes beautifully for up to 2 months so I always have a few frozen single tart sized pieces ready to thaw and roll out for a short notice dessert.
This recipe makes enough for a 24cm loose base quiche/tart tin, leaving enough scraps for decoration or biscuit making.
- 200 gm Plain flour
- 25 gm Almond meal
- 100 gm very cold butter. Cubed.
- Small pinch of salt
- 75 gm Icing sugar
- 1 small egg or exactly 35 gm of egg, lightly beaten, chilled.
- Possibly 1-2 teaspoons of iced water. Maybe!
It’s easy but there are some critical technicalities. Namely make every ingredient very cold first and keep returning your pastry, in all its stages, to the fridge, especially in our hot Australian summer weather!
In a food processor and using the blade accessory, pulse the flour and diced cold butter until only just like clumpy sand. Add the salt, almond meal and icing sugar and pulse for another 10 seconds.
Whilst running on a slow speed, add the very cold beaten egg. The pastry should start to come together and begin to ball up in the processor bowl, be patient it will happen suddenly. If it doesn’t quite make it, add little sips of the iced water and just as it’s balling up… STOP. Work quickly and tip the whole pastry mess onto a spread-out piece of cling film on the bench. With your hands, lightly pull the dough together into a thick round disk, wrap fully in the plastic film and put it in the fridge for at least 45 minutes, even overnight if preferred. (Actually, I’ve left mine in the fridge for 5 days at this stage of the game, without it suffering in quality or performance)
Blind baking your tart shell:
Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg C. Lightly spray the tart tin with cooking oil.
Unwrap your chilled pastry disk and sandwich between two sheets of baking paper on the bench. Working quickly, use a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to make a circle evenly 3-4mm thick and larger than your tart tin.
Pick up the dough over the rolling pin and lay it over your dish. Gently push the pastry down into the dish, up the walls and into the corners, be careful not to stretch it. Pinch, mould, repair holes and add bits as required, rustic is all the fashion! Chill in the fridge for another 30 mins.
Remove and with a fork, prick the pastry on the bottom of the dish, lots and lots, 20-30 times. Put it in the oven and blind bake for 12 minutes until very lightly coloured.
Now relax. This blind baked shell, still in its tart tin, will keep in an airtight container, in the fridge for a few days until you are ready to fill it.
Head from here over to my Summer Peach and Rose tart, as featured in the latest edition of Scenic Road Magazine, for the perfect way to use your freshly baked tart shell!