I think that people are quite scared of pastries because they hear all kinds of horror stories like “You NEED super cold hands or it’ll flop and be overworked and you’ll present a mess to your family for dinner and you’ll be so embarrassed that you’ll curl up in a ball and die right there and all that people will remember is a horrible pastry crust.” Or, that it’s too much hassle. It takes too long. Too much mess. Too much work. Too much clean up. And I, Ms. Voice-of-reason am here to tell you that it’s all not true. There are numerous different pastry recipes, not all of which require hours of work or cold fingers, though my favourite (for which I am giving you the recipe now) involves about ten minutes of prep time, ten minutes of clean up, followed by a two-hour chill. This is the sweet tart crust recipe that I use every time. It comes out consistently perfect. So perfect that last week I made a tart for dinner, and Scott turned to Leandra after one bite and said "Honey, I'm sorry, but Rebecca just won the dessert competition for life. This crust is amazing." Hey, it's not my fault that Scott hasn't had sex since, he's the one who SAID it, I just made the damn thing...
1 3/4 cups flour or all purpose gluten free flour
1/2 cup sugar (if I’m making something fancy, I use regular white sugar, if not, then I use sucanat because it’s more nutritious and I love the taste… it just makes the crust dark brown!)
1/2 tsp salt
11 tb very cold butter, cut into chunks
1 egg, beaten
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt a few times. Scatter over the butter, and pulse until it’s all in pea-sized chunks. Pour in the egg in 2 parts, pulsing a few times after adding. Then pulse it for five seconds at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Turn it out on a counter, divide into 2 balls, squish flat, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 2 hours (up to 2 days, then you can freeze it for up to a month).