Biscuit Grust

This is a sweet rich shortcrust pastry suitable for fruit or jam tarts, flans or pies. If the sugar is omitted, this pastry may be used for savoury flans and pies.

8-

5 oz. plus

1 tablespoon butter

8 oz. self-raising flour

1 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon castor sugar

1 egg, beaten and mixed with

1 tablespoon cold water

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C). Prepare two 8-inch flan tins by greasing them with 1 tablespoon of butter and dusting them with 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside.

Sift the self-raising flour and the salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Cut the butter into the flour with a table knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the sugar.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the beaten egg and water. Mix quickly with the knife and then with your fingers to make a firm dough.

Put the dough on a floured board and knead lightly until smooth.

Form the pastry into a ball. Cover it and chill for 20 minutes.

Divide the pastry into two equal por-tions. Roll one portion out on a floured board into a circle about {-inch thick and 2-inches larger than the flan tin. Using your rolling pin, lift the pastry on to the tin and press it down well to fit the bottom and sides of the tin. Roll over the top of the tin with a rolling pin to cut off the surplus pastry. The edge of the pastry may be left plain or pinched with your fingers to flute the edges. Line the other flan tin in the same way.

Bake blind or fill the pastry shells with the desired filling and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

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