Oven temperature: 180 °C
1 Beat the butter and icing sugar for the pastry shells together until light. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until just mixed. Sift the cake flour over, then mix by hand until the dough is just smooth. Form the dough into a flat, round disk, cover with cling film and then rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. This makes it easier to roll out the dough and it won’t shrink in the oven.
2 Preheat the oven. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to about 5mm. Using a cookie cutter, press out 12–16 circles to line the cavities of a shallow muffin pan. Bring together any excess dough each time and roll out again until it’s used up. Prick the shells with a fork and bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through. Cool on a wire rack.