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rA delicious all purpose mini cup or a tart crust, when kept handy can quickly serve a dessert or an appetizer.This crust can be made by food processor or by hand. Either way, it is critical to work quicky to avoid the gluden and to preseve a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.Yields: one 9 or 10 inch single pie crust or 25 to 30 tart cups
Baking Time: 25- 30 minutes
To make by hand, combine the flour, salt, and sugar, if using, in a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour with your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle ice water onto the crumbly dough and with your hands push the dough from the sides to the middle of the bowl to form a ball that holds together.
Transfer to a work surface. Cut the dough in half, place half on top of the other, and press down. Repeat the cutting and pressing steps three or four times until all of the water is incorporated into the dough and it clings together.
To make in a food processor, cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and place them in the bowl of the food processor. Add the flour, salt and sugar. Process until all of the ingredients are incorporated. With the processor on, add the water a tablespoon at a time until the dough begins to clump but is still crumbly. Continue to drizzle a little water and pulse the food processor, stopping to test the dough with your finger tips to see if it is moist enough to hold together. When you can gather the dough into a ball, remove it from the food processor.
Use on tart pan - On a floured surface, gently flaten the ball of the dough with a rolling pin. Starting from te center, roll the dough into a circle about an inch larger than the diameter of the pan. Lift the dough into the pan. Fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork.
For tart cups, divide the dough into 25 to 30 balls. roll each ball and fit them into the tart cups to fit to the brim. Press it down to the sides of the cups to get the shape of the cup.
Prick them with fork so they dont puff up while baking.
To make a prebaked pie shell on tart pan, preheat the oven to 180 C. Prick the prepared crust in several places with a fork. Line the crust with aluminum foil and a layer of dried beans to weight it down (you can use pie weights as well). Bake for 15- 20 minutes, until the crimped edge is lightly toasted. Remove the beans and foil and continue to make for 10 more minutes, until the shell is golden brown. Cool before filling and freezing.
To make prebaked tart cups, preheat the oven to 180 C. Prick the prepared crust cups in several places with a fork. Place and line the cups on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15- 20 minutes, until the crimped edge is lightly toasted and until the shell is golden brown. Cool before filling and freezing.