( SERVES 1 )
- Combine flour and salt in a bowl and rub in flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (or use a food processor to do this).
- Add egg yolk and enough water to combine into a firm dough. Don't add too much water or the dough will be tough.
- Knead lightly to bring mixture together, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
- To make light and luscious pastry every time, keep these top tips in mind:
- It is best to work in a cool space and the ingredients must be cold too (for example, use ice-cold water and butter). This way you don't end up with a sticky, buttery mess.
- Add 3 tbsp of caster sugar to the flour to make sweet shortcrust pastry.
- When rubbing butter into flour, take care not to overwork the mixture or the butter will become oily and the pastry sticky. If using a food processor, pulse the mixture in short bursts.
- If you are new to pastry making, use a food processor to rub the butter into the flour, but add the egg yolk and water by hand. Adding too much water results in tough pastry.
- over-kneading will end in tough pastry too so knead only enough to bring the dough together.
- Chilling and resting pastry helps avoid shrinkage during cooking - wrap pastry tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Try not to add too much extra flour when rolling out pastry or it may become dry and crumbly.
- Don't stretch the pastry when lining pie tins. Instead, gently ease it into place - this will prevent the pastry shrinking during cooking.