How To Make Perfect Shortcrust Pastry for Pies

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to have a crack at making your own shortcrust pastry, here’s a recipe for you to give it a go.

Pastry is something we’re passionate about and well-made pastry is a special thing indeed, a great example of something far better than the sum of its parts! You are aiming for it to be short, but not too short that it falls apart. You want it to be flavourful, but not overpowering so that the filling is lost. It’s a fine art but one that with a little practise can become second nature.

Getting the thickness of the pastry just right also takes practise and depending on what you are making with your pastry, always give consideration to the other ingredients or filling you will be putting with it so you can decide what thickness you want to roll your pastry. Here at YHP, we spent a long time trialling the perfect thickness of pastry for our pies before we got it just right. And one of the comments we get most often on our pastry is how well it is balanced with the pie filling. This is no accident but the result of a lot of trial and error!

So here you go, here’s how to make your perfect pastry! A combination of butter and shortening or margarine are used here. Using the 50/50 mix of these 2 fats helps give a balance of flavour and texture that is just right and not overpowering.

You can either mix your pastry by hand or in a mixer with a paddle attachment. It may take a little longer by hand but will be just as good.

 

Ingredients:

500g plain flour

125g unsalted butter, pre-diced into 1cm chunks and pre-chilled in the fridge

125g pastry shortening or margarine cut into 1cm chunks

5g salt

95g cold water

 

Method:

  1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl or into the food mixer if using.
  2. Add in the butter to the bowl along with the margarine. If mixing by hand, rub the fat and flour together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. If mixing in the mixer, start the mixer on a slow speed and mix the fat and flour for approximately 2 minutes until roughly combined.
  3. Dissolve the salt into the water by stirring in with a spoon. If mixing by hand, add around half the water to the bowl and mix together until the water is taken up by the flour. Then add the rest of the water and mix until it is fully combined. If mixing with a mixer, have the mixer on medium speed before drizzling in the water and mix until the pastry is coming away from the sides of the bowl. Don’t mix for longer than this or your pastry may become tough.
  4. Remove your pastry from the bowl and wrap it in cling film before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  5. Your pastry is now ready to roll out and use. You can roll it out with a rolling pin to make pie cases, tarts, flans and quiches. Just dust your worksurface with some flour before rolling out to the desired thickness and cutting it to whatever shape you need.
  6. Once you have filled your pie/quiche/tart bake it for approximately 45 minutes at a temperature of around 195c. This will give you a nice golden crust that will taste delightful.