If you’re looking for a versatile and easy-to-make crust for your pies, tarts, and desserts, look no further than this simple Sweet Shortcrust Pastry. With minimal effort, you can create a tender and crumbly shortbread-like crust that will take your homemade treats to the next level!
What is a Shortcrust Pastry?
A shortcrust pastry is a basic dough made from flour, butter, and either egg or cold water to bind them together. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. Whether you’re making a delicious fruit tart or a savory quiche Lorraine, this pastry has got you covered!
To make this fantastic shortcrust pastry, you only need a few pantry staples:
- All-Purpose Flour: The main component that holds the tart shape together.
- Butter: Unsalted is preferred, but salted butter works too. Just omit additional salt if using salted butter.
- Sugar: Adds a touch of sweetness for dessert shells.
- Egg: Provides both binding and richness to the dough.
- Salt: Enhances the flavors of the crust.
- Vanilla Extract: Perfect for sweet versions, but you can omit it for savory recipes or try other flavor extracts like almond.
- Start by beating softened butter until creamy and light in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine beaten egg and vanilla.
- Gradually add the egg mixture to the butter, beating until just combined.
- In another bowl, mix salt with all-purpose flour.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine until it just comes together. Avoid overworking the dough to ensure a crumbly texture.
- If needed, add a small drizzle of ice-cold water to achieve a crumbled appearance and gather the dough into a ball.
- Wrap the dough in plastic cling film and flatten it into a disc. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour, or in the freezer for 10-20 minutes.
- Once firm, shape the dough into your desired baking pan.
- Grease your baking pan and press the dough into it, forming an even layer on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Alternatively, roll out the dough to approximately ¼ inch in thickness or a few inches larger than your baking dish.
- Transfer the dough to your baking dish and press it gently but firmly, without stretching it, to avoid shrinkage during baking.
- Trim the excess dough above the edges of the pan and dock the crust with a fork to allow for even baking and prevent puffing.
- Wrap the filled pan in plastic cling film and chill it in the freezer for about 15 minutes while preheating the oven to 350ºF (175ºC).
- Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat and then place your tart pan or baking dish onto the preheated sheet.
- Blind bake the crust by using parchment paper or aluminum foil with pie weights, beans, or rice on top to prevent the crust from puffing.
- Bake the crust at 350ºF (175ºC) for 15 minutes until it’s about half-baked. Remove the weights and continue baking until golden and crisp, usually around 10-15 minutes more.
Now that you have the perfect sweet shortcrust pastry, you’re ready to create your delicious desserts! Fill it with your favorite pie or tart filling and enjoy the wonderful flavors of your homemade treats.
For more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration, be sure to visit BDK Restaurant. Happy baking!