Shortcrust pastry: A rich, flaky dough with a high proportion of fat to flour. Also called pate brisee, this is used for flans, tarts and quiches and for single and double-crust pies.
Shortcrust pastry is used for pies, flans, tartlets and a wide range of savoury and sweet dishes. The pastry should be crisp and light, yet firm in texture.
Remember, Pastry is only as good as the flour you use. Don't buy cheap flour.
2 cups (225 g) plain flour (All purpose)
1 pinch of salt
1/2 stick (2 oz) 50 g butter or block margarine
2 oz (50 g) lard
1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the fats. Cut into the flour with a knife then rub in with your fingertips. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs.
2. Sprinkle water over the crumbs. Mix to a stiff crumbly-looking paste with a round-ended knife. Draw together with fingertips, turn out on to a lightly floured work surface.
3. Knead quickly until smooth and crack free.
4. Roll out and use as required.
Storing Shortcrust Pastry
1. Wrapped in cling film, uncooked shortcrust pastry dough will keep for up to three days in the refrigerator.
2. For convenience a supply of 'rubbed-in' mixture (ie. fat) rubbed into flour in the correct proportions can be kept for a week or two in an airtight container or polythene bag in the refrigerator. Remove 30 minutes before mixing in the chilled water.
3. Both baked and unbaked shortcrust pastry freeze well. Thaw unbaked dough at room temperature before unwrapping, but rolled out pastry cases may be cooked from frozen, allowing a little extra time to bake.
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