Shortcrust pastry is something which is very basic and used as the base for most of the tarts and pies. I make pies and quiches quite often and I always use my go-to shortcrust pastry recipe. The reason why people often struggle with it is because it might be soft or difficult to handle. Here are few things that I am listing out to get a flaky, crisp pastry every time-
- Firstly, all the ingredients should be very cold. The colder the ingredients, the better the pastry.
- Make sure you do not knead or overmix the dough.
- Chilling, chilling and chilling! If you are aiming for a flaky crisp crust, chilling is the key!
- Use parchment paper while rolling. It saves time, effort and flour 😛
Ingredients: (Makes enough to line two 20 cm tart tins)
- Plain flour- 2 cups or 280 grams
- Cold unsalted butter- 175 grams; cubed
- Cold water-4 to 5 tablespoons
- Salt- 1/4 or Sugar- 2-3 tablespoons depending on what type of pastry you are going for
Sift the plain flour into a clean, dry bowl. To it, add the cold cubes of butter. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the flour and butter against each other. Do this till you get a rough crumbly mixture. This mixture can be brought together to one extent.
At this point, you can add your salt or sugar and gently mix it through. Make sure you do not over work the dough. Add the water one tablespoon at a time and try to bring the dough together to form a ball. ( Make sure you add just enough water so that the dough comes together and not excess of water. I use about 4 tablespoons. But the quantity of water may differ due to strength of flour and humidity). If it isn’t coming together properly, add a little extra water. Cover the dough with cling film and allow it to chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
For rolling out the dough, cut the chilled dough in half. Dust a large piece of parchment paper with very little flour and place the dough over it. Place another sheet of parchment paper over it and roll. This will make sure the pastry is evenly rolled without tearing. For lining, remove the paper on the top and gently flip the paper onto a dusted tart tin. Shape the bottom and sides with the paper still on and once in shape, peel off the paper. If it tears in any place, just press the pastry back into it’s place and you won’t even know. Crimp the sides to give a nice look. Chill the lined pie tin for a minimum of 20 minutes for a flaky pastry.
For storing, wrap the pastry tightly in cling film. Place it in an airtight container and store upto 2 weeks.
Recipes using shortcrust pastry-