Basic Shortcrust Pastry
Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart, quiche or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-rising flour, however. Shortcrust pastry can be used to make both sweet and savory pies such as apple pie, quiche, lemon meringue or chicken pie. Many shortcrust pastries are prepared using vegetable shortening, a fatfood product that is solid at room temperature, the composition of which tends to create crumbly, shortcrust-style pastries and pastry crusts.
3 cups plain flour
125g butter, chilled
4 tablespoons chilled water
1 egg, chilled
Sift the ﬂour and salt into a mixing bowl, rub in the fats until the mixture resembles ﬁne breadcrumbs, then mix to a firm dough with the chilled water.
Wrap and chill the dough for an hour or overnight. This pastry gives a firm texture.
Other types of pastry
- Pâte à fonceris French shortcrust pastry that includes egg. Egg and butter are worked together with a small quantity of sugar and salt before the flour is drawn into the mixture and cold water added to bind it.
- Pâte briséeis similar to pâte à foncer, but is lighter and more delicate due to an increased quantity of butter — up to three fifths the quantity of flour.
Pâte sucrée (sweetcrust pastry, sweet dough, or sweet paste) is made with the addition of sugar, which sweetens the mix and impedes the gluten strands, creating a pastry that breaks up easily in the mouth.