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Basic shortcrust pastry
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Making your own light, crumbly pastry is as easy as pie. Just follow these simple instructions. This method describes how to prepare a tart case before adding a filling, but you could also use this pastry for pies and pasties. The uncooked pastry can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month.
Makes: enough for a 20-23cm diameter tart tin
120g plain flour
60g cold unsalted butter, diced (or 30g unsalted butter and 30g lard)
2 tbsp iced water
If you're worried about the pastry shrinking as it cooks, don't trim the edges before baking. Bake blind, cool, then trim off the excess with a sharp knife.
This recipe was first published in Thu Apr 01 01:00:00 BST 2004.