Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Lemon Tart myfavouritepastime.comThis pastry is used to make sweet pies like apple pie, lemon tart and others. It has the characteristic melt-in-the-mouth texture and rich flavour. 

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry myfavouritepastime.comPlease always assemble all ingredients before you start

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry myfavouritepastime.comSift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Place the sifted flour in a food processor bowl together with the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small beads or coarse breadcrumbs.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry myfavouritepastime.comAdd the beaten egg and pulse briefly until the dough starts to cling together. Add a little chilled water only if necessary.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry myfavouritepastime.comTurn the mixture onto a surface and press the dough together. Knead on a lightly floured surface a few times (do not over-mix).

Lemon Tart myfavouritepastime.comShape the dough into a disc, wrap with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Use as required.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Preparation time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time; Baking time: as required

This basic recipe will line a 9½ inch (24 cm) fluted tart pan or 4 x 3¼ inch (8cm) tart tins or 24 pan holes

Ingredients

  • 250g (9oz, 2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 50g (2oz, ¼ cup) icing (confectioners) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter (4.5 oz, 1 stick + 1 tablespoon; 9 tablespoons), chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons chilled water (only if required)

Instructions

If using a food processor:

  1. sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl. Place the sifted flour in a food processor bowl together with the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small beads or coarse breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the beaten egg and pulse briefly until the dough starts to cling together. Add a little chilled water only if necessary.
  3. Turn the mixture onto a surface and press the dough together. Knead on a lightly floured surface a few times (do not over-mix).
  4. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap with a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Use as required.

If mixing by hand

  1. sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl.
  2. Add the cubed butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles small peas or coarse breadcrumbs. (don’t over-handle the mixture)
  3. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the egg and mix with a flat bladed knife until a coarse crumbly dough forms.
  4. Press the dough together (if too dry add 1-3 teaspoons of water). The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  5. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times then shape into a disc, wrap in a cling film and let rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Variations

  1. Almond Shortcrust Pastry: Replace 75g (2 1/2oz; 1/2 cup) of the flour with 50g (2oz, 1/2 cup) almond meal (ground almonds) and reduce butter to 100g (3 ½ oz)
  2. Brown sugar shortcrust pastry: Replace the icing sugar with 75g (3 oz, 1/3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar

Points to Note

  1. Keep the pastry as cool as possible at every stage. If it gets too warm, let it rest in the fridge before handling.
  2. Do not over-mix or over handle or over roll the pastry otherwise it will shrink and toughen during baking.
  3. After mixing the pastry let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After lining the tin (pan) cover it with cling film and let it rest in the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.
  5. You can make the pastry up to 3 days in advance and keep wrapped in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before rolling.
  6. You can freeze pastry in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge.

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20 thoughts on “Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  1. I’ve already pinned this, Liz, and hope to use it one day. I’ve no problem creating the dough but I lack even the most basic skills when using a rolling pin. It always ends up in a disaster of some sort. However, armed with your easy to prepare recipe, and with the holidays coming, I’ll venture into the breech and try, try, try again — but I’ll have a box of ready-made dough in the freezer just in case. Always pays to have a Plan B.

    1. Thanks so much for pinning John. I have two boxes of ready made puff pastry, for times when I need a quick fix.
      Roll and turn, then roll and turn. Try that a few times and you’ll be good to go. I think you should practice with Indian Flatbread first. So much easier than rolling pastry. Good luck
      Liz

  2. Liz, you have the best photos and instructions for food I love! I am envisioning this shortcrust tasting just like shortbread cookies and wouldn’t it be lovely with lemon filling and a meringue overtop! Years ago when I was learning to make pastry like my mother in law did, I watched her very carefully and she mainly used lard for the pastry but she always threw in a big scoop of butter! Her pastry’s were so good. Funny that this recipe of yours reminded me of hers. Different but probably very flavourful just the same. So how is your early week going?

    1. Yeah I also used to use lard at some point when it was easier to buy. And by the way the rhizomes arrived three days ago I believe. They are so tiny. I’ve been reading information on how to plant turmeric. Lots of conflicting advice i.e don’t water the rhizome vs water the rhizome. They also say it undergoes some dormancy period.
      I look forward to planting and thanks so much for sending. We have a central mailbox and I don’t check mail on a daily basis. I am trying to post and clear backlogs. Have a good evening!
      Liz

        1. I think that’s a good idea. I was actually considering that. In one of the posts this lady said she forgot about the rhizome for some months but when she finally remembered, she found it sprouting and ‘voila’, she planted it and now it’s doing very well. Thanks Sandy. Have a pleasant day
          Liz

        2. Good thinking. I potted mine up thinking they might sprout but I think I shall just leave them sit in the pot and see what happens come early spring! Or perhaps I should just dig them up and allow them to rest. Good advice! Thank you.

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