Basic shortcrust pastry recipe

Basic shortcrust pastry recipe, how to make shortcrust pastry, sweet pastry, easy shortcrust pastry recipe
Shortcrust pastry is an important recipe because it can be used for a variety of sweet and savory pies, tarts or quiches. Shortcrust pastry it is made from flour, butter, egg, a pinch of salt and, if necessary, a few tablespoons of very cold water. If you want to prepare a sweet pastry, you should add also powdered sugar, your favored flavors and lemon zest.
Shortcrust pastry is very easy to make but you have to follow a few rules:
You should use twice as much flour as butter by weight and all the ingredients must be cold. The best way to prepare shortcrust pastry is to use a food processor. It’s not recommended to work the dough with your hand because you will melt the butter.

If you don’t have a food processor and you have to work the dough with your hands, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour. Try to work quickly and chill the dough for a few minutes.

Ingredients for basic shortcrust pastry (28 cm/11 inch diameter baking sheet):

– 300 gr (2 1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon) flour
– 150 gr ( 1 1/3 stick) butter
– a pinch of salt (up to 1/2 teaspoon)
– 2 egg yolks
– 30-50 ml (2-3 tablespoons) of very cold water
For sweet pastry add also:
– 80-100 gr (2/3 – 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
– vanilla essence
– lemon zest or orange zest

How to make basic shortcrust pastry

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add a pinch of salt (and powdered sugar, if you are using).
Add cold butter, diced and mix until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, you can work the dough with your hands, rubbing your thumbs against your fingers.
Add the egg yolks and incorporate. Now is the moment to add vanilla flavor and lemon/orange zest if you are using.
If necessary, add a few tablespoons of very cold water (30-50 ml / 2-3 tablespoons)) to help you bring the pastry together.
Shape the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about one hour.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it onto a floured working surface.
Roll out the dough into a 30 cm (11.8 in) circle.
Carefully place the dough into a 28 cm (11 in) buttered baking sheet and cover the sides also. Slightly press the dough with your fingers, making sure it is smooth.
Use a sharp knife to cut the excess dough. Prick the dough with a fork.

How to bake basic shortcrust pastry

You have 3 options:
1. Fill the pie and place it into the preheated oven and bake at 180 °C until golden brown and cooked through. In this case the crust will be softer and moist.
2. Pre-bake the pie crust, without filling, at 180 °C (356 °F) for about 10-12 minutes. It’s not necessary to use pie weights because the dough is soft and it flattens when you pour the filling. Fill the pie and continue to bake at 180 °C for about 25 minutes.
3. when you make a tart with cold filling (like vanilla custard tart) you have to bake shortcrust pastry in 2 steps: first you pre-bake with pie weights for about 10-12 minutes at 180 °C (356 °F). Then remove the weights and continue to bake at 180 °C for another 10-15 minutes (or until golden brown and cooked through)

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