I was making pastry to blind bake in a hurry as usual. I weighed out ingredients in a bowl. The butter was very hard so I popped the bowl into the microwave and turned it on for one minute, thinking the flour would insulate it and it would need that to soften. Needless to say it was a liquid when I removed it. Rather than waste over 200g of butter I decided to plough on because in the back of my mind I remembered Raymond Blanc making a pastry where he heated the butter. I searched on line for it and discovered this.
Now I very rarely follow a recipe verbatim. So I just added enough water to my dough to make a cohesive ball. Then I followed the method above and pressed the dough into the dish and baked it for 15 minutes at 180 deg in a fan oven. It was for a large Bakewell tart and it was a runaway success.
My version of this recipe is (for a 21cm removable base pie tin) -
200g plain flour
Water to make a cohesive ball.
Sieve flour with a pinch of salt. Melt butter and mix in. Add water very slowly and mix with a fork. When you have a ball of dough all holding together transfer to your pie dish.
No need for rolling, baking beans, baking paper etc.
And it really works.
For the pear and almond tart above I made a frangipane, 100g butter, sugar and ground almonds mixed together with one egg beaten and 25g sieved plain flour and half a teaspoon of baking powder. Three pears, peeled, cored and fanned into the frangipane mix. Bake at 175 deg fan for approximately 55 minutes or until springs back to touch.