This 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.
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.
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
- 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)
If using a food processor:
- 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.
- Add the beaten egg and pulse briefly until the dough starts to cling together. Add a little chilled water only if necessary.
- Turn the mixture onto a surface and press the dough together. Knead on a lightly floured surface a few times (do not over-mix).
- 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
- sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a bowl.
- 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)
- 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.
- Press the dough together (if too dry add 1-3 teaspoons of water). The dough should be soft but not sticky.
- 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.
- 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)
- Brown sugar shortcrust pastry: Replace the icing sugar with 75g (3 oz, 1/3 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
Points to Note
- Keep the pastry as cool as possible at every stage. If it gets too warm, let it rest in the fridge before handling.
- Do not over-mix or over handle or over roll the pastry otherwise it will shrink and toughen during baking.
- After mixing the pastry let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- After lining the tin (pan) cover it with cling film and let it rest in the fridge about 30 minutes before baking.
- You can make the pastry up to 3 days in advance and keep wrapped in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before rolling.
- You can freeze pastry in a tightly sealed container for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge.