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How to make shortcrust pastry

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How to make homemade shortcrust pastry for sweet and savoury tarts and pies - it's easier than you think! Try not to add too much liquid - it can make pastry chewy instead of light and crumbly.

Points to remember

  1. Put the flour into the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Add half the weight of the flour in cold cubed butter, for example, we used 250g plain flour and 125g butter. Butter must be as cold as possible - warm or melted butter can make pastry greasy.
  3. Add a pinch of salt (and sugar, if making a sweet pastry).
  4. Pulse the mixture together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Add liquid one tablespoon at a time. We used milk but your recipe may call for egg yolk or water, or a mixture.
  6. Pulse it until the dough begins to come together, adding one tablespoon more liquid if needed.
  7. Tip onto a work surface and use your hands to gently press the dough into a disc.
  8. Wrap with clingfilm and rest for at least 30 minutes or longer.

Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 months. Kneading or overworking pastry can make it tough. If you have over-handled your pastry, rest in the fridge for as long as possible.


See our recipe for basic shortcrust pastry and sweet shortcrust pastry.

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