best sweet shortcrust pastry
best sweet shortcrust pastry

The Best Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

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October 20, 2013

When we're making dessert tarts we've tried many different recipes in an attempt to make the best shortcrust pastry. We've finally settled on one that is easy and fantastically tasty.

This recipe is the basic sweet shortcrust pastry recipe and also explains how you can blind-bake it to make the basis of a tart. You could, of course, use the pastry recipe for any other recipe that requires sweet shortcrust - just stop at step 7 below.

We use a food processor with the plastic blade for this but you can rub the flour and butter together with your finger tips - we just like the processor because it saves time.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • 20 mins

    30 mins

    50 mins

  • Yields: 1 tart case
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Ingredients

200g plain flour

35g icing sugar

A small pinch of salt

125g cold, unsalted butter (we have used salted in the past and left the additional salt out)

1 egg yolk

2 to 3 tbsp milk

Directions

Add the flour, salt and sugar in the food processor bowl and give it a quick blend to mix

Chop the butter into small squares and add to the flour in the food processor

Blend this until you get breadcrumb-like consistency

Add the egg yolk and some of the milk and blend together

You should get large clumps, add more milk as necessary until this happens

Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface to stop the dough sticking and bring the clumps together into a ball

Wrap this in cling-film and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

While this is chilling set the oven for 180c

After 30 minutes, lightly flour your work surface again, remove the dough from the cling-film and roll out using a floured rolling pin

You need to roll it into a circle a few centimetres wider than a 24cm tart tin

Carefully place the pastry over the tin and very gently make sure it gets into the corners

One tip we learned the hard way is don't trim the excess pastry at this point, leave it on and trim later - this avoids shrinkage!

Prick a fair few holes in the base with a fork

Get a piece of baking parchment, wider than the tin, and place it over the pastry. Another great tip here is to scrunch the parchment up into a ball first and then straighten it out and put it over the pastry - this way it is easier to put into the corners

Weight the baking parchment down with baking beans - if you don't have any of these we have used coins for our spare change jar before and they worked a treat! This weighing down stops the pastry rising which we don't want to happen

Put the tart tin on a wide enough baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes

After 15 minutes, remove the baking beans and baking parchment and pop the tart back in the oven for another 10 minutes

The tart base is ready when the pastry is a light golden colour and looks cooked

Our kids help measure out the ingredients, use the blender (or mix by hand), roll out and seem to be fascinated by the baking beans. We just do the hot bits but to be honest our 10 year old can do this herself too as we've taught her how to be careful with the oven.

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