Yes, you can buy shortcrust pastry from your supermarket. However it is so simple to make and takes no time at all and you probably have all the ingredients in your cupboard. I really don’t think there’s an excuse!
Puff pastry or filo pastry, now that’s a different story. They can both be a lot more time consuming and a bit more daunting and may not be worth the faff if you just want to whip up something delicious and quick at the weekend.
You can swap caster sugar for icing sugar and add the milk slowly as you may not need it all.
Makes: 1 x 23cm pie base
Oven Temp: Gas 6, 400F, 200C (180C Fan)
225g plain flour
150g butter, chilled
25g icing sugar
1 large free-range egg
2 tablespoons milk
1.Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Or blitz in a food processor. Then mix in the icing sugar.
2.Add the egg and 2 tablespoons cold milk, and mix until it forms a dough. Try not to overwork the dough.
3.Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
4.Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface to about the thickness of a pound coin.
5.Carefully transfer the pastry to a 23cm flan tin, line the tin with pastry and transfer to the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
6.Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan.
7.Blind bake the pastry. Line the pastry case with non-stick baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5 minutes to finish off the pastry.
You are now ready to make your favorite pecan pie, bakewell tart, lemon meringue pie or use with any of your favorite fillings.