How To Make Savoury Shortcrust Pastry

Prep Time:
15 minutes
Serves:
1 23cm tart case or 12-hole muffin tray

When you have a little more time to spend in the kitchen, making your own pastry is an excellent use of that time. Perfecting a good pastry recipe may take some practise but the end results are magnificent, truly satisfying, and undeniably a league above the store bought kind. What you get is something that is full of flavour with a melt-in-the-mouth texture – the ideal start to any quiche, tart or pie. Don’t worry too much if the pastry cracks a bit when rolling it out, just try and glue the cracks together with the left over pastry scraps.

Ingredients

225g plain flour

Pinch of salt

20g icing sugar, sifted (optional, if added, will give a nice caramelised colour to the pastry)

115g unsalted butter, cold & cubed

3-4 tbs ice cold water

Method

BY HAND:
  1. Sift the flour,  salt and icing sugar, if using, from a height onto a cool, clean dry surface. Add the butter and work into the flour – work towards the middle, rubbing the mixture between your thumb and fingers but handling as little as possible – until it resembles rough breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the water very gradually and evenly, 1 teaspoon at a time, until there’s just enough to bring the dough together into one piece. Form into a round ball. Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge, allow it to come to room temperature, and knead very gently on a lightly floured clean surface. Roll out to your desired thickness.
 
IN A FOOD PROCESSOR OR STANDING MIXER:
  1. Chill the mixing bowl and correct pastry attachment in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Sift the flour, salt and icing sugar, if using, into a large bowl. Add the butter, then cover with a plate and transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer to your food processor or standing mixer and combine in quick pulses to just bring it to the breadcrumbs stage.
  4. Add the water gradually until it comes together as a dough.

TIP: can be frozen then defrosted at room temperature and will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Lily Vanilli