Short crust pastry is used for lots of pie dishes. It
sounds a bit daunting but as this recipe shows, follow the instructions and
you will end up with delightful, light and crisp pastry.
Pastry for 1 pie
INGREDIENTS The basic ingredients are twice the amount of flour to fat. The
recipe below will be enough to line and top a normal sized pie. If just
topping a pie, use half the amounts or use the full amounts and freeze
any left over pastry.
55g Cooking margarine (e.g. Stork)
2oz Cooking margarine (e.g. Stork)
55g refined cooking fat
/ lard (e.g. Cookeen)
2oz refined cooking fat
220g Plain flour
8oz Plain flour
In our recipe we have used Cooking margarine and cooking fat / lard. It
is quite possible to simply use Cooking margarine or a mix of butter and
fat / lard. We have found our mixture produces the best shortcrust
pastry. Whatever is used the proportions of fat to flour should be
maintained - twice the weight of flour to that of the fat.
READY MADE SHORTCRUST PASTRY
It is quite possible to buy ready made shortcrust pastry at your
supermarket, normally it is frozen. This makes excellent shortcrust
pastry but never as good as freshly made pastry. It also has a couple of
Firstly, it is far more expensive compared to home made pastry. The
second disadvantage is not so obvious, the size of a sheet of ready made
pastry is fixed, and if it is slightly smaller than you require then two
sheets will be required.
Secondly, it is almost always frozen. You will need to remember to
defrost it before use which can take much of the spontaneity out of
Our shortcrust pastry recipe below has lots of pictures, but you can
also view our video by clicking on the YouTube video below.
VIDEO OF SHORTCRUST PASTRY RECIPE
CLICK ANY PICTURE BELOW TO ENLARGE IT
It's best for shortcrust pastry that
the margarine and cooking fat are at room temperature. This will enable it
to combine with flour as quickly as possible and make rolling out the
pastry much easier.
Add the margarine and cooking fat to a large
bowl (cut into lumps) and sieve in the the flour.
Gently rub the flour, and
margarine / lard together with your fingers lifting them and letting the mix
drop back into the bowl. This will help more air into the mixture.
The mixture should end up as small crumbs although some larger bits may
be present. Don't overdo this stage, it should only take two or three
Add 3 tablespoons of water
to the mix and 'cut' the mixture together with a knife for a minute or so. Then use
your fingers to gently blend the mix together even further. If it won't hold
together add another half tablespoon of water.
The mix is of the
correct consistency when it is in a ball and can collect all the odd bits
around the bowl into one single ball.
Wrap the mix in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to
'rest'. After it has rested for 30 minutes it is ready to be rolled out into
the shape required. We have assumed for this page that you want to line
the bottom and top of a fruit pie.
Separate two thirds of the
pastry (for the pie base). Dust the surface with flour where you want to
roll out the pastry. Most flat surfaces are fine for this. Move the
rolling pin back and forwards turning the pastry round frequently to get a
round shape. keep dusting the surface with more flour if the pastry starts
to stick. Use the base of the dish to be lined as a guide to size.
When the pastry has been
rolled to approximately the correct size, transfer it to over the top of
the pie dish. Click both pictures on the left for an enlarged view.
First, roll about half of the pastry over the rolling pin (top picture).
Then support the remaining pastry with your hand and transfer the pastry
to the top of the pie dish.
Gently firm the pastry into the bottom of the pie dish. It's not a
disaster if the pastry tears slightly because when the pie is filled the
base will not be very visible.
Firm the shortcrust pastry to the base
and sides of the pie dish with your fingers.
Use the blunt side of a normal knife to trim off any pastry which is
higher than the sides of the pie dish.
Fill the pastry lined dish with whatever is
your choice of fruit. Roll out the remaining third of the pastry with the
rolling pin to just larger than the top of the pie dish. Transfer the
pastry to the top of the pie dish using the rolling pin as before.
Gently firm down the pastry over the top of the fruit and trim the excess
pastry off with the blunt side of a knife.
Turn on the oven now to 220°C / 425°F / Gas Mark 7.
It will make the pie look
more attractive if you 'crimp' the pastry round the edge of the pie. Click the picture on the left for a better idea of how to do this.
The video below shows in even more detail how to crimp shortcrust pastry.
VIDEO HOW TO CRIMP SHORTCRUST PASTRY
Finally, make a couple of
holes in the top of the pastry.
This will allow steam to come out
whilst the pie is being baked and keep the shortcrust pastry crisp.
Place the pie in the pre-heated oven and leave at that temperature for ten
minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 190°C / 375°F / Gas Mark 5.
If you are
cooking a fruit or meat pie, cook for a further 30 to 40 minutes until the
shortcrust pastry is golden brown and the pie filling has cooked through.