print this recipe Print this recipe   save to disk Save to disk   Full version with graphics

Shortcrust Pastry

This recipe is in categories Baking, Licence to cook,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: 2

This is a basic shortcrust pastry recipe. It is straight forward to make and a good basic cooking skill to learn.

Skills required: rubbing in,  weighing and measuring

Processes used: rubbing in

Preparation Time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: None
Number of servings: Makes enough for a large pie crust or about 12 small tarts.

This is an essential recipe for shortcrust pastry. Adding butter rather than margarine will make the finished pastry richer. Adding a pinch of salt or using slightly salted butter is suitable for savoury pastry, for quiche, pasties and meat pies. Using unsalted butter or omitting the salt is best for fruit pies, jam tarts and sweet pastries.

Pastry should be crisp, without being hard. The key to making good pastry is to use cold, hard fat and cold water. Handle the pastry lightly and not too much.


Making and cooking it
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl
  2. Cut the margarine/butter into small pieces and add to the flour
  3. Rub the margarine into the flour, until it looks like breadcrumbs
  4. Add enough cold water to bind the breadcrumbs together and mix to a smooth dough (using your hand can be the best way to do this)
  5. Leave to rest (on hot day a few minutes in the fridge, wrapped in cling film is good)
  6. The pastry is now ready to use. Use the pastry on the same day
How to cook the pastry depends on what you make with it. As a rough guide however for a whole pie bake at 350 degrees or Gas Mark 5 for 30-40 minutes or for small pastry cases 15-20 minutes. The pastry should be lightly browned.