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A quick and easy recipe for shortcrust pastry. You can make it by hand or in a food processor.
225 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
100 g butter
Pinch of sugar
1 lemon , zest of (optional)
1/2 tbsp of milk
Try to be confident and bring the pastry together as quickly as you can. Don’t knead it too much or the heat from your hands will melt the butter. A good tip is to hold your hands under cold running water beforehand to make them as cold as possible. That way you’ll end up with a delicate, flaky pastry every time.
Sieve the flour from a height on to a clean work surface. Using your hands, work the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar by rubbing your thumbs against your fingers until you end up with a fine, crumbly mixture. This is the point where you can spike the mixture with interesting flavours, so mix in your lemon zest.
Add the milk to the mixture and gently work it together till you have a ball of dough. Flour it lightly. Don’t work the pastry too much at this stage or it will become elastic and chewy, not crumbly and short. Flour your work surface and place the dough on top. Pat it into a flat round, flour it lightly, wrap it in clingfilm and put it into the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.