How to make a good pastry

Many people seem to shy away from making pastry, and if they do want to make a tart or quiche, will quite happily reach for the ready made, ready to roll packs. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. I did the same for years because my mother said we weren’t a family of women who can make pastry. Apparently our hands are too warm.
But actually there’s no such thing as someone who isn’t a “pastry” person. If you have the right recipe, and a bit of patience, anyone can make delicious, non-soggy pastry for a whole range of puddings and savoury dishes.
Learning one basic recipe and practising with that will give you the confidence to try making other types of pastries. A sweet short crust is a good place to start. It can be blind baked (baked before adding any filling) or baked at the same time as the filling. Why not test it out with some mince pies this festive season? Or serve up a delicious chocolate tart for Christmas Eve dinner. 

Pate Brisée (Sweet Short Crust pastry)

250g plain flour - 150g unsalted cold butter - 15g caster sugar
50ml milk - 5g salt - one egg yoke

This method is pretty much the same for every "short" pastry.
Place the flour and butter, either into a large bowl, or on a cold work surface, and rub them together with the finger tips of both hands. The result should resemble bread crumbs with no lumps of butter left. Stir in the sugar and the salt.
Make a well in the centre of the mix and add the milk and the egg yoke and stir with your finger to mix. Gradually combine the mix from the edge of the well, until all ingredients are combined to form a soft dough.
Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for an hour before using. It will keep in the fridge for a few days, or freeze on the day of making and use within one month (longer in the freezer could effect the taste).