Sweet pastry

Makes enough to line an 10-inch tart tin
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500g/1lb plain flour, plus more for dusting
250g/8oz butter, chilled
1 whole organic, free-range egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Place the flour into a food processor Add the egg and yolk and blend quickly. Cut the butter into little cubes and add to the rest of the ingredients while the mixer is going. Finally, add the sugar and vanilla extract and turn the mixer to "pulse". Fairly soon the dough will take on the consistency of wet sand; continue pulsing and the dough will begin to gather itself into a ball. If the pastry looks a little dry and stays fairly separated, add a tablespoon of cold water.

Once the dough has formed a ball, turn off the machine and remove the pastry. Knead once or twice then swaddle in clingfilm. Place in the fridge and leave to rest for 30 minutes.

The dough is now ready to roll. Dust a work surface fairly liberally with flour. Unwrap the pastry and lay in the centre of the flour. Take a rolling pin and place in the centre of the dough. Place both hands on either end of the pin and press down on the pastry lightly so it flattens slightly. Now begin to roll out the pastry; roll backwards and forwards and from side to side, alternating the movement until the pastry flattens into a round disc no more than an eighth of an inch thick. Take a 10-inch tart tin, preferably with a removable bottom, and place the pastry over the top – I find this easiest if I lift the dough using a rolling pin. Press the pastry firmly into the sides of the tin using your thumbs. Prick the pastry base with a fork and return to the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, prepare the contents of your tart and preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. When the tart case is chilled, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans (if you don't have any to hand, use rice or dried chickpeas). Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently take out the parchment paper and the beans. Now pour or spoon in your filling and return to the oven.

When the tart filling is cooked – about 35 to 40 minutes later – remove and cool on a wire rack, before slicing and eating.

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