• STEP 1

    Tip flour into a mixing bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and add. Toss to coat with flour. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour, lifting it in the bowl as you do so to keep it light and cool. Continue until it looks like breadcrumbs. Shake the bowl and any larger lumps of butter will come to the surface to rub in.

  • STEP 2

    Sprinkle in 2 tbsp cold water and mix with a round-ended knife until the mixture starts to come together. Gather the dough with your hands, wiping it round the bowl to pick up stray pieces. Put the dough onto a work surface sprinkled very lightly with flour. Knead lightly to form a smooth ball.

  • STEP 3

    Sprinkle the rolling pin lightly with flour. Roll out the dough using short sharp strokes to avoid stretching, giving the dough a quarter turn each time you roll to keep the shape.

  • STEP 4

    Set the flan tin on the baking sheet. When the dough is about 5cm larger than the tin, lift it up draped over the rolling pin and lay it across the flan tin. Press the dough into the corners of the tin using your fingers, don’t trim off the edges. Chill for 30 mins.

  • STEP 5

    Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Fill the pastry case with a round of baking paper and add baking beans (see tip) to weigh it down. Bake for 15 mins, then carefully remove the paper and beans and cook the pastry for 5 mins more (this is called baking blind).

  • STEP 6

    Carefully trim off the excess pastry using a small sharp knife and use as required, cooling if needed.


Trimming the edge of the flan after cooking gives you a neater edge with less shrinkage.


Use butter straight from the fridge and cold water to keep the pastry mix cool while you work.


Shortcrust pastry freezes more successfully when it has been rolled out or shaped as required, either baked or unbaked, rather than as a lump of dough.


If you don’t have baking beans, use uncooked rice or pasta, then keep them to use each time.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2011

Goes well with


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