This is an easy pastry that can be made in the food processor in a few minutes. It will be plenty for a typical 9 inch pie or tart. You’ll need only flour, butter, salt, one egg, and water. Sugar is optional. Proceed as follows:
1. You’ll need 2 tablespoons of ice water, so begin by putting some ice and water in a glass; it will be cold by the time you need it.
2. In the food processor, pour 1 cup flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. (If the pastry is for a dessert, you may want to add 1-½ tablespoons of sugar. I never do, though.)
3. Take ¼ pound cold butter (i.e., one stick) and cut it up into small pieces into the food processor. There’s no trick to this, just shave off a bunch of pieces right into the food processor.
4. Break an egg, discarding the white and saving the yolk. Put the yolk in a small glass or cup measure and add 2 tablespoons ice water and stir it up.
5. Start the food processor and drizzle the yolk-water into the whirring food processor. Drizzle it slowly but not too slowly.
6. In a few minutes the mixture will “ball up.” It’s done; wrap it in foil and toss it in the refrigerator for half and hour or so. [If it doesn’t ball up, but turns to mush instead, you probably drizzled the yolk-water too slowly so that the mixture was over-beaten. Just try it again; the ingredients are cheap.
7. When you roll it out, flour the counter or bread board or whatever you use, just as you would with any other pastry. You may want to flatten it with your hands before using the rolling pin; in fact, you can dispense with the rolling pin altogether.
8. Once it’s rolled out, put it in the greased and floured pan, and you’re all set to pour in the filling (or to partially bake it before pouring in the filling.) Usually, you’ll want to cook the pie at 425 for 15 minutes or so and then reduce the heat to 350 for the balance. Over and out.