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How to make shortcrust pastry

Ball of shortcrust pastry on flour next to a rolling pinIt is very easy to buy pre-prepared shortcrust pastry from the supermarket, but like most things, it tastes much better if you make shortcrust pastry yourself.

I’m no expert at making shortcrust pastry, but I found this recipe worked and if I followed all the steps properly (and didn’t try to take shortcuts), I had no real issues.  It is a little crumbly and so my pastry can be a little patchwork by the time it goes into the oven – but no-one can see that by the time the contents goes in, so who cares!

Ingredients:

  • 250 gr plain flour
  • 125 gr cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cold milk

Method:

To make the shortcrust pastry, pulse the flour and the butter in a processor until it looks like breadcrumbs.

Pour the flour mixture onto your workbench and sprinkle over the salt.  Make a well and add the eggs and milk in the middle.  Very gently mix together to form a dough.  Knead 5 times only if you can.

Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes (can be much longer, up to 2 days).

Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and leave it to warm to room temperature (about 30 min), otherwise when trying to roll the dough it will crack too much.

Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F.

Roll out to the dough as best you can.  To move to your baking tray, roll the dough up on the rolling-pin and roll out onto your baking tray.  My dough is never perfect, so this is where my patchwork skills come in.  The dough is very easy to “fix”.

Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork.  Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes so it won’t shrink while cooking.

Blind bake the shortcrust pastry in the oven for 15 minutes (cover the pastry with baking paper and pour over the top baking beads, dry rice or dry beans).

Take the beads (or rice or beans) out and bake at 170 C / 335 F for a further 5 min or until the base is dry.  The shortcrust pastry is now complete and ready for its topping, perfect for a quiche, like Quiche Lorraine.

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