Yet another basic shortcrust pastry, Flan Pastry or Pâte à Foncer (part-ah-fawn-say), is an extremely versatile pastry, can be made a day in advance easily, and filled with all manner of yummy stuff, whether sweet or savoury. Of course one of its advantages is that it’s an easy pastry to make, light but not as fragile as some. Flan pastry is perfect for all kinds of open tarts, whether sweet or savoury, which is why I always make double the amount and freeze what I don’t need, up to 3 months.
An interesting tidbit: amongst other things, foncer also means to line a baking tin.
The traditional method of making any pastry is on a large flat surface; I prefer to make mine in a large, roomy bowl. The only difference I’ve found in the result is the amount of cleaning up! Another thing that I do that may seem to buck the trend is creaming the butter and egg with a wooden spoon, something I’ve been doing since I was a kid, with granny.
Ingredients for Flan Pastry (enough to line a 9’/22cm flan tin)
200g flour, sifted
100g butter, soft & in small pieces
1 small egg
1 tsp sugar
20ml cold water, if needed (sometimes I don’t need it)
Method for Flan Pastry
1. Place the butter, egg & sugar in a large bowl & cream with a wooden spoon, i.e., mix it up.
2. Sprinkle the flour over and mix it into the butter mixture either still with the spoon or as I do it, with your fingertips. Gently, just with your fingertips! No kneading or squeezing.
3. Bring it all together, still gently, adding a little of the cold water if you need it.
4. Knead it just a handful (max 5!) times with the palm of your hands to smooth it out.
5. Wrap with clingfilm for 30 minutes before rolling it out.
Perfect for Custard Tart, click for recipe.