Shortcrust Pastry

Maria Elia's basic pastry recipe is easy to follow and produces crisp tasty pastry, ideal for sweet and savoury tarts and flans
By Maria Elia
Shortcrust Pastry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 750g pastry approx.
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 30 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 250 g butter, or half each of butter and lard, diced
  • 4-8 tbsp iced water

For the herby alternative

  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • finely grated zest of 1 oranges

Method

1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large bowl.

2. Using a knife, cut the fat into the flour until evenly blended; then begin to lightly rub the fat into flour using your fingertips. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs sprinkle with a little water.

3. Using a knife bind the ingredients together, then finish with your hands to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 30 minutes before using.

4. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge, and when at room temperature, roll out on a lightly floured surface until the thickness of a £1 coin.

6. Line a tart tin, pressing the dough into the sides. Pierce the surface with a fork and brush with beaten egg yolk.

7. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden.

Variations
For the herby pastry: add the ground cumin with the flour and salt. Add the orange zest after the fat and before the water.

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