Rich Shortcrust Pastry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes About

    400 g

Appears in

Bake

Bake

By Lorraine Pascale

Published 2017

  • About

This is a quick and simple recipe for a light and tasty pastry. It is great for savoury flans and tarts and literally takes just minutes to make. If you prefer, replace the plain flour with spelt flour, which is easier to digest. One of the oldest cultivated grains in the world, spelt is becoming more widely available. It has a naturally higher composition of vitamins, and requires a special processing method, so is more expensive than regular flour.

Ingredients

  • 240 g plain flour
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 140 g butter, cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1–2 tbsp ice-cold water

Equipment

  • food processor (optional)

Method

The best way to make this pastry is in a food processor. Pop the flour, salt and butter into the food processor and pulse it in quick bursts until the mixture starts to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of the water and pulse again until the mixture starts to come together. Add a little more water if the dough is still dry, but not too much otherwise your pastry will be tough.

If you are making this by hand, then put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub the mixture together with your thumbs and fingers, letting the mixture fall back into the bowl. Keep doing this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of the water and use a round-bladed knife to mix it all together. Add a little more water if the dough is still dry, but not too much otherwise your pastry will be tough.

Tip the dough onto the work surface and bring it together into a ball. Wrap the ball in cling film and then gently press it down to flatten. Pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes for the mixture of stretchy proteins (gluten) in the dough to relax – this makes it much easier to roll out and also reduces the shrinkage in the oven. The pastry is now ready to use but you can keep the pastry wrapped in cling film in the fridge for up to a week. Use as required.

Sweet rich chocolate pastry

To make sweet chocolate shortcrust pastry, reduce the amount of flour to 200 g, and the amount of butter to 120 g. Follow the method above, but add 2 tablespoons of sifted cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar to the bowl with the other ingredients.