Shortcrust pastry is a really versatile and very easy pastry to make. It only requires a few basic ingredients that result in a deliciously crisp, buttery “melt in the mouth” finished product.
This is a dual pastry as it works excellently as a base for savoury or sweet dishes. For ages, this has been my go-to recipe when making quiche (Beetroot and Bacon Quiche), as it is truly a non-fail delicate pastry. What can I say.. there is nothing quite as delicious as a great shortcrust pastry!
This pastry can easily be made using a food processor which is my preferred method but if you do not have a one, then no problem as it can also easily be made by hand. It is best made with cold butter and ice water, therefore, start by chilling the butter and water.
Processor: Sift* the flour and salt together and add to the food processor. Add the cubed pieces of butter and sugar, then pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Hand: Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the cubed pieces of butter and sugar, then rub (Rub mixture lightly between your fingertips) together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
*Sifting the flour always assist with aerating the flour and results in a light delicate pastry. I used spelt flour when making this recipe but it can easily be replaced with All Purpose Flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Processor: Add the water, starting with one tablespoon at a time. Only add more water if required and pulse until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
Hand: Add the water, starting with one tablespoon at a time and bring the mixture together using a knife. Once the mixture comes together use your hands to bring it together – don’t overwork the pastry and handle too much as this will cause the butter to melt and cause the pastry to become tough.
Place the ball of dough into a bag and chill in the refrigerate for around 20 – 30 minutes. Don’t miss this step as allowing the dough to rest is a necessary step. Resting the dough allows the gluten in the dough to relax which ensures the dough does not shrink back and lose its shape when baked.
Flour your work surface and roll out dough to a thickness of approximately 2 – 3mm. Use this dough to line a 25cm tartlet tin or 4 x 10cm mini tartlet tins. Once tartlet tin/s are lined with pastry refrigerate for a further 20 – 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and then line the tartlet tin/s with baking paper. Fill the cavity of each tartlet with baking beads / dried beans or rice to ensure that the base does not bubble up and that the sides do not collapse. Baking blind ensures that the pastry holds its shape. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes and then remove the baking paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes until lightly brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Add your favourite savoury or sweet filling to the pastry tart cases!
- 200 Grams Spelt Flour (Replaced with All Purpose Flour at a 1:1 ratio)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Castor Sugar
- 100 Grams Unsalted Butter
- 1 - 2 Tablespoons Ice Water
- Sift flour and salt into a food processor. Add the butter and sugar, then pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the water starting with 1 tablespoon at a time - only add more water if needed. Pulse until the mixture comes together and forms a ball.
- Place pastry dough into a bag and chill in the refrigerator for 20 - 30 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a thickness of 2 - 3mm and line 1 x 25cm round tartlet tin or 4 x 10cm mini tartlet tins.
Refrigerate for a further 20 - 30 minutes
- BAKING BLIND Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prick the pastry with a fork and then line the tartlet tin/s with baking paper. Fill the cavity with baking beads and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove baking paper and baking beads and bake for a further 5 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Add your favourite savoury or sweet filling!