There is quite a simple rule of thumb when it comes to making pastry at home. You should know that the type of crust you can buy from the stores is by no means as tasty or as healthy as the crust you can make at home. And the best part is that it takes very little time to make your own and you can skip all the preservatives and extra salt and sugar mixed by manufacturers into the crust they sell in stores. Today is the day when we will learn how to make the simplest recipe of shortcrust pastry, so you will never need to use the refrigerated type ever again.
I will give you a tip first, so you can obtain the best results, and cook pastry like a chef, while at home, in your kitchen. Shortcrust is best when left to sit in the refrigerator for an entire day. So, if you are planning a party or there are celebrations around the corner, I strongly suggest that you make the shortcrust a day before you get to fill and cook the recipe you want.
Let’s get to the actual recipe now. You will need the following ingredients: about one cup of flour (the all-purpose type works just fine), half of teaspoon of salt, a quarter of a pound of unsalted butter and three tablespoons of water (make sure it is ice cold, it is an important aspect of this recipe).
Use a food processor or a mixer for combining the flour with salt and add butter so that the composition begins resembling a coarse meal. Add the tablespoons of ice water and mix for another half a minute, until the dough you obtain is soft. Take the dough out of the food processor, shape it with your hands into a thick disk, and wrap it in plastic. Like this, send it to the refrigerator for a couple of hours. You can even leave it overnight if you are too busy with other chores.
When you roll the dough, make sure to do so gently and gradually. By letting dough gain its shape, you make sure that it will not shrink when you are baking it. Create a round shape, as thin as possible, and all the trimmings send back to the fridge, as you will use them for patching and decorating. Place your dough in a tart pan and let it sit. Lift the edges and press them lightly against the edges of the pan, to obtain the desirable crust shape. Keep in the fridge until you want to bake it. Bake in a preheated oven for about 10 minutes, and, if it is not golden enough, keep it there for a few extra minutes.