Rich shortcrust pastry

Rich shortcrust pastry

By
From
Desserts
Makes
300g

The best way to make shortcrust with that crumble-in-the-mouth texture is to do it by hand rather then by machine, as a blender will overwork the gluten in the flour and cause the pastry to be springy and shrink when cooked. In addition, resting the pastry in the fridge is important, as the high proportion of butter to flour makes it difficult to roll out when warm. Any unused pastry can be frozen (freeze it rolled into a tin, rather than in a ball).

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp icing sugar, (if making sweet pastry)
cold unsalted butter cubed
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp iced water

Method

  1. Mix together the flour and salt (and icing sugar if making sweet pastry). Add half the cubed butter to the flour. Gently and swiftly, rub the fat into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the rest of the butter and mix until it’s the size of small peas. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  2. Mix the egg with the lemon juice and water and pour into the well a little at a time, rubbing it through your fingers, until it forms a dough (you may not need all the liquid). Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly until smooth. Shape into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
  3. To line a tin or mould, roll the chilled pastry onto the rolling pin, then unroll over the tin, draping the pastry into the tin or mould. Gently press it in place using your fingers.
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