Basic shortcrust pastry is the easiest pastry to make, it is a versatile pastry suitable for sweet or savoury dishes. Sometimes a sweet shortcrust pastry is needed, especially for desserts and sweet pies as it adds extra flavor and depth. A rich shortcrust pastry recipe is similar to basic shortcrust but has an egg and sugar added to it. This pastry is also known as pate sucrée.
Though it may at first seem a little sticky, rich shortcrust pastry is a little easier to handle than basic pastry. But as with any pastry recipe, resting is the key to success as once rested in the refrigerator, the pastry will keep its shape during cooked.
- 225g/8 oz all all-purpose flour
- 110g/4 oz butter (cubed, or an equal mix of butter and lard)
- 25g/1 oz fine sugar (or caster sugar)
- 1 free-range egg
- Splash of milk to bind
This quantity makes 300g (10oz) pastry.
Place the flour, butter and sugar into a large clean bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough becoming warm.
Add the egg to the mixture and using a cold knife stir until the dough binds together, add milk, a teaspoon at a time, if the mixture is too dry.
Wrap the dough in Clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes. This helps the pastry to rest. You can also roll the pastry and then rest it in the fridge. It is up to you.
The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter and salt in the bowl of the processor, just mix it carefully on a pulse setting. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water, slowly, through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in Saran wrap/ Clingfilm and chill as above.
Use the pastry in your favourite recipes. It will normally be cooked at around Fan /170C/325F/Gas 3
Here are a few recipes where you can use sweet pastry.
Sweet pastry is used in any (you guessed it) sweet tart recipe. Plain shortcrust is fine, and of course works very well. However, the additiuon of the egg and the sugar makes a more substantial case with just a light sweetness to it. It does not dominate the flavour of the finished dish.
Tip: Use equal quantities of all-purpose flour and cake flour for a lighter pastry.
More tips for successful shortcrust pastry
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