...that I have learnt in the last few months is... wait for it... courtesy of Rachel Allen, rolling pastry out between pieces of cling film! I know, thrilling, isn't it? But it has been a revelation. No more flour everywhere. No more uneven, odd-shaped pastry. Just perfectly rolled pastry. Goodness knows why I had never thought of it before! This recipe for lemon tart is well worth making.
I usually make my pastry in my food processor. Just a few quick whizzes and it's done. I then tip it out into cling film, pat it down into a round, then wrap up and put it in the fridge for a while to chill. After half an hour or so, out it came with the flour shaker and hence the mess. Not any more! I think it's always been said that the less you handle pastry, and the cooler you can keep it, the better it will be. This method seems to tick all the boxes.
Rachel also said that you can bake the pastry blind with the cling film using your baking beans rather than foil or baking paper. She was very reassuring that it wouldn't melt and that it would leave a lovely smooth pastry case. Of course, she was right!
This year I want to keep on learning stuff like this. It's important stuff. Stuff I can pass on down my family and share with others. Do let me know of any important stuff you think I may need to know!