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French Pastry Shell

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  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  3. 1 tablespoon sugar
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water
  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, butter, sugar and salt and process for 10 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of the water and pulse just until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Pinch the dough; it should hold together. If not, add up to 1 more tablespoon of water.
  2. Transfer the dough to a work surface and, using the heel of your hand and working a little of the dough at a time, knead lightly and quickly to blend the butter and flour. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate just long enough to firm up the butter, about 15 minutes.
  3. Roll out the dough to a 13-inch circle. Line a fluted 11-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with the dough, without stretching. Trim the edges and prick the bottom. Wrap well with plastic wrap and freeze until needed.