Learn how to make one of the simplest pastries of them all, Short Crust Pastry. This is a savoury pastry that’s crisp, buttery and flaky; just perfect for a quiche. You don’t even have to get your hands dirty; the food processor will do the work for you in a matter of minutes.
If you’ve read my ABOUT page, you’ll know that in the past l’ve spent an inordinate amount of time recovering from an illness. I’m fine now, but at that time it was very challenging to find things to do that didn’t require too much energy. There are only so many crossword puzzles a girl can do!
Enter my trusted iPad and my desire to start honing in on my pastry making skills. Having watched dozens of youtube clips and read just as many recipes, l adapted a Gordon Ramsay recipe that requires only 4 ingredients: flour, butter, water and a pinch of salt. Notice no egg is added in this recipe.
Top Tips for Short Crust Pastry
Over time, l either picked up or experimented with ideas to improve my pastry making, mostly with the aim of minimising pastry shrinking during baking. Here they are:
- Keep your pastry / tart tin in the fridge until required. This helps keep the pastry cool while you are rolling it out, and is especially helpful during warmer weather when the pastry can become soft very quickly. My tin measures about 22.5 cm / 9″ and is 3 cm / 1″ deep.
- Work quickly to ensure that the pastry is as cold and firm as possible before it goes in the oven
- Make sure your butter is very cold.
- Use icy cold water.
- Rest your pastry in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Pinch the pastry until it just peeks over the rim of the pastry tin.
- Just before you place baking / parchment paper and pastry beads on the pastry, place in the freezer for 10 minutes. I’m no scientist, but what l think happens here is that if the pastry is super cold, it cooks before it has time to starts to soften and retract. If it goes in the oven at room temperature or after having been in refrigerator rather than freezer, it retracts/shrinks before it begins to cook.
You can clearly see from the photo below that there’s barely any shrinkage!!
If you’ve never made short crust pastry from scratch, I hope l have inspired you to give it a go. As for the filling, look no further than my Quiche Lorraine recipe. I’ve photographed it for you in my intro!
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Chill Time: 40 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 6 – 8
- 200 g / 7 oz plain / all purpose flour
- 120 g / 4 oz unsalted butter cut into cubes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp icy cold water (you may not use all)
- Place flour, butter and salt in a food processor.
2. Process until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
3. With motor still running, slowly add the water until mixture forms a ball. This takes less than a minute. You may NOT need all of the water.
4. Form a disc and wrap with cling film. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. You can also place pastry tin in refrigerator at this point (see Top Tips for Short Crust Pastry).
5. Preheat oven to 200 C / 390 F.
6. Sprinkle work surface with flour. Remove disk from cling film and place on work surface. Dust rolling pin with a little flour. Roll out the pastry until it measures 28 cm / 11″ in diameter.
7. Dust the surface of the pastry with a little flour and carefully roll it onto the rolling pin.
8. Unroll it over the pastry tin.
9. Gently press the pastry into the tin. Roll the rolling pin over the top to cut off excess pastry.
10. This step (2 parts) is optional, but it’s what l do to counteract any shrinkage which may occur during baking. Part 1. Gently press the edge of the pastry so that it just peeks over the rim. Part 2. Place in freezer for 10 minutes.
11. Tear off a large sheet of baking / parchment paper and place over the pastry. Fill with baking beads, rice or dried beans to weigh it down. This is called ‘blind baking’. Bake for 20 mins.
12. Remove from the oven. Turn oven down to 180 C / 350 F. Carefully remove the baking / parchment paper and beads (they’ll be hot).
13. Return to the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until pastry is golden.
14. The pastry will be fully cooked when returned to the oven with a savoury filling. Have you tried my Quiche Lorraine yet?