When I was younger I was always a bit scared of pastry cases. I suspect I must have had a bad experience with crumbly or too sticky pastry not rolling out and I gave up. Or maybe it was rubbing or cutting in the butter - I'm the first to admit that's not my strongest baking talent.
But I worked out if you have a blender it is so simple to make delicious sweet pasty shells that taste way better than the ones you can buy at the shop ready to fill.
I've done up this quick video tutorial to show how easy it is to make them yourself (or the written instructions and ingredients are below):
So these pastry cases have only 4 ingredients and you just whip them up in the blender, knead them a little, chill and roll out.
Pretty much if you can make roll out sugar cookies you can totally make these tarts.
Once you have mastered whipping these tarts up the options are endless, you can fill them with chocolate, cream and fruit, curd, custard. OK you get the picture pretty much anything.
I'll be having a series of posts in the near future with yummy fillings for you to try (some pictures included underneath recipe below).
Sweet Pastry Shell recipe
225g (8oz) plain (all purpose) flour
45g (1 1/2oz) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
125g (4 3/8oz) cold butter cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
Place flour and sugar into the bowl of a blender. Add the butter distributing it evenly over the top of the flour/sugar mixture.
Blend until the butter has been distributed and there are no large pieces left. The mixture will look like yellow sand.
Add the egg yolk and blend for another 30 seconds or until the mixture starts to clump together.
Tip the mixture onto your workbench and knead together. Form into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
When ready to cut out, dust workbench and rolling pin lightly with plain (all purpose) flour and roll out the pastry, lifting and turning as you roll. Lifting and turning stops the pastry from sticking and contributes to the finished pastry being even.
Cut the pastry to shape and gently press into pan or dish cutting off any excess. For larger sizes you may like to use a fork to pierce the bottom of the uncooked pastry shell.
Place uncooked shells into the freezer for 30 minutes (or refrigerate until firm).
Preheat oven to 180C (350 F).
Place the uncooked shells onto a tray and cut pieces of baking paper (parchment paper) out a little large than each shell. Using baking weights, beans or rice (or I used a glass) weigh down the center of the paper.
Bake the shells for 10 minutes or until they just start to turn golden, remove the weights and paper and then continue to bake for another 5 minutes.
Allow to cool and fill as desired.
Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature until required for 5 days.
Caramel Macadamia tart (recipe coming soon)
Linda Vandermeer is a blogger, baker, maker and author of the cookbook ' Sweets on a Stick': More than 150 kid friendly recipes for cakes, candies, cookies and pies on the go!. Published in the US the book is available at most online book stores.
Original Ideas, photography and recipes by Linda Vandermeer do not reuse without permission.
Lemon Cream tart (CLICK HERE for recipe)