Forming Tart Cases the Easy Way

Our friends are having a “Christmas in July” party today, and I offered to make fruit mince pies, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to show you this clever technique I saw on TV years ago.

The usual method involves rolling out the pastry (which can stick to the counter or rolling pin, and tear), cutting out rounds, then trying to fit them into the muffin tray (usually resulting in more tearing), and trying to remove folds in the pastry.

No more! Me to the rescue!

You need a wooden pestle:

PestleRemove the pastry from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Cut it into strips, then into cubes:

Cubed pastryRoll them into balls of a similar size:

Balls in flourRoll the balls in plain (all-purpose) flour, and put them into the muffin tray:

Ball in muffin trayThe flour will stop them from sticking.

Dip the pestle into flour, shake/rub off the excess, or dip the palm of your hand in flour, and use it to coat the pestle with flour:

Floured Pestle

Floured HandPress down on the dough, turning the pestle slightly to push the dough up to the top of the muffin tin.

Forming the caseForming the caseIf you have problems getting it even, you can press the balls flat until you get the hang of it:

PastryIf you break one, just remove the dough, roll it back into a ball, dip it in flour and start again.

It’s very quick  and gives you very evenly-shaped and -sized cases.

Shaped casesFilled casesCooked Mince Pies