Butter knife or pastry cutterNote:
Due to the sugar in the pastry, it browns much quicker than an ordinary shortcrust, and so is best baked at a lower temperature.
Place the egg, sugar and vanilla or almond in a mixing bowl, and whisk with a balloon
whisk for a minute, or until the sugar is dissolved into the egg.
Sift the flour into the mixture and stir in using a wooden spoon, until the mixture has a sandy texture – be sure to scrape around the bottom of the bowl so there are no clumps of flour.
Add the cubed butter, and cut in using a butter knife or a pastry cutter until the butter is well incorporated and the dough comes together. (This pastry gets too sticky too quickly to do this by hand, which is why you use a knife or cutter.) Remove from the bowl and knead gently for a few seconds. Wrap in baking paper and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.Recipe reprinted with permission of John Whaite.