Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1-2 tablespoons ice-cold water (if needed)

Instructions

  • Combine dry ingredients: In a large bowl, sift together the flour and caster sugar.
  • Rub in the butter: Add the diced butter to the flour mixture. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Work quickly to avoid warming the butter too much.
  • Add the egg yolk: Create a well in the center of the mixture. Add the egg yolk and start incorporating it using a fork or pastry cutter.
  • Form the dough: If the dough seems dry, gradually add ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time, just until the dough starts to come together. Avoid overmixing.
  • Shape and chill: Gently gather the dough into a disc shape. Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, ideally an hour. This resting period helps the gluten relax and prevents the pastry from shrinking during baking.
  • Roll out the dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to your desired thickness (usually around 3-5mm).
  • Blind bake (if needed): For tarts or pies where you’ll add a filling later, line your tart tin with the rolled-out pastry. Prick the base with a fork, line with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden. Remove the paper and weights, and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the base is dry and cooked through.
  • Use as desired: Continue with your chosen pie or tart recipe!

Tips:

  • Keep everything cold: Using cold ingredients ensures a tender, flaky pastry. If your kitchen is warm, chill the flour and bowl beforehand.
  • Don’t overwork the dough: Handle the dough as minimally as possible to avoid tough pastry.
  • Rest, rest, rest: Chilling the dough is essential for allowing the gluten to relax and creating a perfect texture.
  • Be adaptable: If the dough is excessively crumbly, a little more ice-cold water may be needed. If it’s too wet, add a little extra flour.

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