1 to 2 20cm tart bases depending on rolling out skill
120g caster sugar
120g butter softened to room temperature
50g egg (1 size 6 egg)
280g of sifted flour (not high grade)
tsp vanilla essence
zest of half a lemon
pinch of salt
Cream the softened butter and sugar lightly until combined. Dissolve salt, vanilla and zest in egg, (do not put salt into egg without stirring or it burns and makes hard lumps). Gradually add batches of the egg mix into the creamed butter mixture, whisking before each addition or you will split the mixture. If you need to bring it back together, add a small amount of your flour to bind.
Once you have added all the egg mix to the creamed butter, fold the sifted flour into your mixture and gently mix into a smooth paste.
Wrap up in clingfilm and place in a fridge to rest for about 30-40 minutes. If you flatten this into a disc to chill, it will be easier to roll out when ready to use, as you will not have to handle it as much.
When rolling out use a light dusting of flour on the rolling surface and aim to roll to 2-3mm thickness. Try to roll out in a round shape, gently moving the disc to keep even and free of sticking.
Gently lift up the pastry and lay over the tin making sure you press the edges into the fluting of the tin from base to top this helps remove air pockets. Trim excess pastry off but do not trim down to the edge. Dock the base lightly (this will help it not puff up and shrink). Place the lined tart back in the fridge for another 30 minutes this will help your pastry relax again after handling and make it less likely to shrink inside the tin.
Remove from fridge and run a paring knife around the edges trimming pastry flush with tin. Make a baking paper cartouche, place into the tart tin over the pastry and cover with baking beans, (ceramic or uncooked rice) and cook at 190 degrees C for approx 25 mins, you can prop the oven door open slightly to allow steam to release.
Cool the flan base on a wire cake rack. Once cool, melt some chocolate and brush this over the base of the tart, this will help stop it getting soggy when you put in the pastry cream and helps add strength. Fill with pastry cream to the top of the tart and decorate.