After reading my World Kitchen France cook book, few pointers that enlighten me. Most recipes don't explain in some ways, the dough starts to crumble, even practically disintegrate, when you try to lift it in the tart tin, you can use a patch method. Slide the base of a French tart tin underneath the dough, place the base inside the fluted outer ring; then take small pieces of dough and press them against the inside ring. The inside of the shell won't look as perfectly smooth as Martha Stewart's, but it will even out during baking and the exterior will look just fine. More importantly, the texture and taste of the baked crust will not be negatively affected at all.
This recipe is adapted from my French Cook Book "World Kitchen - France by Murdoch Books" pg 243
2 3/4 cups flour
small pinch of salt
90g icing sugar
1 box of fresh strawberries
- Sift the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the centre.
- Put the butter in the well and work, using a pecking action with your fingertips and thumb, until it is very soft.
- Add the sugar to the butter and mix together, then add the eggs and mix together.
- Gradually incorporate the flour, flicking it onto the mixture and then chopping through it until you have a rough dough.
- Bring it together with your hands and then knead a few times to make a smooth dough. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Roll out the pastry into a circle on a lightly floured surface and use to line a tart tin, as directed in the recipe. Trim the edge and pinch up the pastry edge to make an even border raised slightly above the rim of the tin.
- Slide the tin onto a baking tray and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Make custard jam, whip cream and arrange the fresh strawberries into the tart.