When making a pastry case, for ease of unmoulding we generally use a loose-based metal flan tin or flan ring (without a base) placed on a baking sheet. If you do not have either of these, use a solid metal tin, or if none of these is available, a ceramic flan dish is the next best thing. Most of the recipes in this chapter were made using a 24cm diameter flan ring, 2.5–2.8cm deep.

Make a flat tin (pastry case)

...Make a flat tin (pastry case)

Step by step

1 Roll the pastry to a circle large enough to line the bottom and sides of the flan tin or ring. You can work out the diameter of pastry needed by measuring the tin or ring from side to side with a piece of string and checking this against the rolled out pastry. However, with practice it is easy to measure by eye.

2 Carefully wrap the pastry once over the rolling pin to support it and place it over the flan tin or ring, set on a baking sheet, with the side of the pastry that was uppermost when rolling now against the baking sheet.

3 Gently lift the overhanging pastry up a little, encouraging the pastry inside the tin or ring to fit snugly, right down to the corners. Now start to lift the edges of the pastry out and over the edge of the tin or ring.

4 Tear a small piece from the excess and use it to push the pastry well into the corners. (You could use the side of your knuckle instead.) Ensure the pastry is smoothed up the sides of the flan tin or ring and folded over the edge.

5 Using a rolling pin and starting from the middle of the flan tin or ring, roll away from you and cut through the pastry, removing the excess. Turn the baking sheet around and repeat.

6 Working your way around the edge with your thumbnail, release the pastry a little from the flan tin or ring, then neaten and smooth the top rim of pastry. Cover the pastry closely with cling film and chill until ready to use.

A note on lining…
Avoid stretching and pulling the pastry as you line the flan tin or ring. Note that it is important to get the pastry well into the corners, or it will fall into them as it bakes and cause uneven shrinkage around the top edge.

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