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Sweet Pastry Tart Case

Makes enough for 3 x 2cm fluted tart cases
Author: Shaun Searley, The Quality Chop House

Ingredients

  • 250 g butter at room temperature
  • 180 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod split lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 2 free-range organic eggs
  • 500 g plain flour beaten egg yolk to glaze

Instructions

  • Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until light and fluffy and almost white in colour.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time – if the mixture looks like it is going to separate, add a little flour. Fold in the rest of the flour in 3 batches and bring it together to form a dough. Divide the dough into 3 pieces, then wrap in cling film and store in the fridge or freezer until you need it.
  • To make a blind-baked tart case, take a piece of dough and roll out to a 25cm circle, 3mm thick. Use it to line a 20cm fluted loose-bottomed tart case. Leave to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lay out 2 sheets of cling film to really get into the grooves of the tart case, one on top of the other, and press into the lined tart case. Fill with baking beans or dried haricot beans and bake for 15–20 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and continue to bake for another 5–10 minutes. The pastry should be a pale golden colour and firm to the touch – if the centre is still a little soft give it another minute or two in the oven.
  • Once it’s definitely baked, make sure there are no holes (you can patch them up with a little leftover pastry), then brush with a little egg yolk to glaze.