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An alternative to pressing pastry dough into a tart tin or pie plate is to cut the rolled out dough into shapes to bake and use as lids and platforms to make freeform tarts.
The simplest shapes are squares, diamonds, strips or rectangles made by cutting the dough with a floured chef's knife in a crosshatch or parallel line pattern. Or, cut out appealing shapes such as hearts, circles or animals with a cookie cutter. You can always roll and cut the dough up to several days ahead of baking them if you wrap them well and freeze them; there is no need to defrost them before baking.
Use Flaky Butter Pastry for Tarts, Pies and Freeform Pastries or your favorite pastry dough.
Let the dough sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before rolling. Shape the dough into a 4-x-5-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the work surface lightly and evenly with a little flour. Rub the rolling pin with flour as well. Center the dough in the middle of the work surface. Beginning at one edge, press the rolling pin down onto the dough to flatten it, moving it across the dough in increments.
Moving from the center of the dough and working outwards, begin to roll the dough, adding more flour to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the dough gradually in each direction, flattening as you go, to form a 10-x-10-inch rectangle; do not roll thinner than 1/8 inch. If the dough cracks or pulls apart, moisten the torn edges with a little water (using your finger or a paint brush) and press together to secure. Dust lightly with flour if the surface of the dough is sticky. Use a knife or cookie cutters to cut the dough into desired shapes. With a thin metal spatula, transfer the shapes to a baking sheet.