Are you ready to master the art of making delicious shortcrust pastry that you will be proud of? Whether you're a baking enthusiast or a beginner in the kitchen, this collection of frequently asked questions will help guide you through the process of making good shortcrust pastry.
This Easy Apple Tart is a great introduction to making pastry as it does not require you to line a tart tin. Once you have mastered that, you can go on to making a fully covered Apple Pie With Shortcrust Pastry. Both recipes allow you to use other fruits.
There Are Three Types of Shortcrust Pastry:
- Basic Shortcrust Pastry is often used to make savoury flans and quiches, but you can also make sweet desserts if you want to reduce your sugar intake.
- Rich Shortcrust Pastry is much like the basic Shortcrust Pastry but has an added yolk for richness. It can also be used to make sweet and savoury recipes.
- Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry is the same as Rich Shortcrust Pastry but has added sugar and is perfect for making sweet desserts such as fruit tarts and pies.
Making Pastry Dough in a Food Processor
This little video will show you how I make a Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry in a food processor. It's a similar process for making basic and rich shortcrust pastry. You can also make it using the rubbing in method with your finger tips, but I find a food processor much quicker.
3 Simple Guides to Help You Make Great Shortcrust Pastry.
- What Is The Best Tart Pan (Tart Tin) To Use For Pastry
- How To Line A Tart Tin With Pastry
- How To Blind Bake Shortcrust Pastry
If there are any questions that I have not covered in the list below, please leave a comment below for other readers to see and I will add them to the list.
There are two main ingredients that make up the basic shortcrust pastry. Flour and Fat with a little added liquid.
For Basic Shortcrust Pastry, a 2:1 Ration is required eg 200g flour and 100g fat, usually butter or a mix of butter and vegetable shortening.
There are several ways to achieve a Flaky texture. A mix of butter and vegetable block such as Trex and not overhandling the pastry dough.
Either option will make shortcrust pastry. A food processor is quicker and is good if your hands are too warm to handle the pastry dough.
There are several ways to prevent the shortcrust pastry from becoming tough. Do not over handle the pastry dough and do not add more flour than the recipe requires.
Salt is mostly used when making shortcrust pastry for savour recipes such as quiches and savour pies. However, a tiny pinch can also be added when making sweet desserts, if the recipe calls for it.
Chilling and resting dough in the fridge is vital for successful pastry making. A minimum of 30mins/1 hour is good or until it firms up. You can leave it wrapped in cling film in the fridge overnight or for a couple of days until you need it.
Shortcrust Pastry freezes really well. Make sure you wrap it in a couple of layers of baking parchment and label it well. It will keep for several weeks in the freezer. Bringing it back to room temperature will make it easier to roll out.
Blind baking is often required before adding any filling. Not all fillings require a lot of baking and could cook before the pastry is baked causing soggy bottoms. Small tarts such as jam tarts and mince pies, do not need blind baking.
To prevent shortcrust pastry from shrinking, chill and rest it in the fridge at regular intervals such as when the dough is first made, and when you have lined your tart tin. You should also return it to the fridge to firm up if the dough becomes too difficult to handle.
Butter is the preferred fat to use, you can use a mix of butter and vegetable fat such as Trex or Crisco. I have never used oil so cannot confirm that it works in place of fat.
Variations can consist of adding sugar, spices or herbs to the pastry dough. Add flavours that match the fillings.
A good way to roll out shortcrust pastry is between two sheets of baking parchment.
Basic Shortcrust pastry is made with water and without using eggs.
Blind baking is often done on a high temperate eg 200c deg, then the temp is lowered to cook the filling once it is added, eg down to around 160c/170c deg. Be guided by the recipe you are using.
Ideally, keep a baked shortcrust pastry case in an airtight container. If needed, blind bake again for a few minutes before adding a filling and continuing with your recipe.
Wrap shortcrust pastry dough scraps in baking parchment and cling film and either freeze to use later as a pie topping or open tart. Remember to add the date and label which kind of shortcrust pastry it is eg Basic Shortcrust, Rich Shortcrust or Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry.
You can make desserts with Rich Shortcrust Pastry and Sweet Rich Shortcrust Pastry.
You can use vegan alternatives, such as Trex and Crisco which is a vegetable blog to make shortcrust pastry. Although the taste will be different from using butter. You can also try using gluten free flour, however, this is not something I have tested out.
A soggy bottom can simply be juices that have seeped into the pastry base rather than it being unbaked. One of the best ways to prevent an unbaked soggy bottom is to blind bake it first before you add any filling.