shortcrust pastry recipe
Dessert Recipe

Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe for Pies & Tarts


Welcome to our easy shortcrust pastry recipe for pies and tarts. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a beginner in the kitchen, this simple recipe will guide you through creating a delicious homemade pastry that is perfect for both sweet and savory treats.

Our recipe uses basic ingredients, such as flour, butter, and water, ensuring that you can easily find them in your pantry. With just a few steps, you’ll have a flaky and buttery pastry ready to be filled with your favorite ingredients.

Whether you’re planning to make a classic apple pie or a mouthwatering quiche, our shortcrust pastry recipe will always deliver great results. It’s versatile, easy to work with, and can be made by hand or with a food processor to save you time and effort. No special skills required!

So, if you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and embark on a delightful baking adventure, grab your ingredients and let’s get started on making the perfect shortcrust pastry for your pies and tarts. It’s time to impress your friends and family with your homemade creations!

Tips for Making the Perfect Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Creating a delicious shortcrust pastry requires attention to detail and a few simple techniques. Follow these tips to achieve a perfect flaky pastry every time.

1. Use Quality Ingredients

Start with high-quality ingredients to ensure the best results. Use cold unsalted butter and ice-cold water for a flaky texture. The butter should be cut into small cubes and chilled before use.

2. Keep It Cool

Cold temperatures are essential for shortcrust pastry. Chilling the dough before rolling it out allows the layers of butter to remain separate, resulting in a light and flaky crust. Place the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

3. Avoid Overworking the Dough

Overworking the dough can lead to a tough crust. Mix the ingredients until just combined, and handle the dough as little as possible. This will prevent the gluten from developing and keep the pastry tender.

4. Differentiating Between Sweet and Savory Pastry

Keep in mind that sweet shortcrust pastry requires a touch of sweetness. Add a teaspoon of sugar to the dough for a sweet variation. Additionally, consider adding spices like cinnamon or vanilla extract for extra flavor.

5. Sweet Pastry Fillings

When it comes to filling sweet shortcrust pastry, the options are endless. Consider using seasonal fruits like berries or apples, or indulge in classics like chocolate or custard fillings.

6. Crimping and Decorating

Give your shortcrust pastry an appealing finish by crimping the edges or stamping the top with decorative patterns using a fork. These techniques not only enhance the appearance of your pie but also seal the edges for optimal baking results.

7. Blind Baking

For pastry shells that require a pre-baked crust, such as custard or cream pies, blind baking is key. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill it with baking beans or rice to prevent the dough from rising during baking.

8. Adjusting Baking Times

The baking time for shortcrust pastry can vary depending on the size and thickness of the crust. Keep a close eye on your pastry while it bakes and adjust the baking time accordingly. A golden brown color indicates a perfectly baked crust.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Fillings Examples
Fruits Apple, pear, peach
Custards Vanilla, chocolate, lemon
Nuts Almond, pecan, hazelnut
Jams and Preserves Strawberry, raspberry, apricot

Rolling and Shaping Shortcrust Pastry

Once you have prepared your delicious shortcrust pastry dough using the recipe provided, it’s time to roll and shape it for your pies and tarts. Follow these step-by-step instructions to achieve perfect results every time.

Step 1: Rolling Out the Dough

Lightly flour a clean surface and place the pastry dough onto it. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circle or rectangle, depending on the shape of your pie tin or tart dish.

Tip: To prevent the dough from sticking to the surface or rolling pin, sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough or cover it with a sheet of parchment paper.

Step 2: Transferring to the Pie Tin or Tart Dish

Carefully lift the rolled-out dough and gently place it into your greased or lined pie tin or tart dish. Press the dough against the edges and the bottom, ensuring it fits snugly. Trim any excess overhanging dough with a sharp knife.

Tip: If the dough tears or breaks, simply patch it up with your fingertips, pressing it back together.

Step 3: Trimming the Edges

Using the same sharp knife, trim the excess dough from the edges of the pie tin or tart dish, leaving a neat and clean edge.

Step 4: Decorating the Pastry Edge

This is where you can get creative and add a decorative touch to your pastry edge. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Crimping: Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the edge of the pastry to create a decorative crimped pattern.
  2. Fork Imprints: Use a fork to gently press the tines into the pastry edge, creating a decorative pattern.
  3. Pastry Cutouts: Roll out any leftover dough and use cookie cutters in different shapes to create small cutouts. Place these cutouts along the edge of the pastry.

Tip: Brush the pastry edge with a beaten egg for a glossy finish before decorating.

recipe for shortcrust pastry mary berry

Remember, practicing different techniques for rolling and shaping your shortcrust pastry will help you discover your own personal style. Happy baking!

Baking Tips for Shortcrust Pastry

To achieve a crispy and golden crust for your shortcrust pastry, follow these baking tips:

  1. Blind baking: Blind baking the pastry crust before adding the filling helps prevent it from becoming soggy. To blind bake, line the pastry with parchment paper, fill it with baking beans or rice, and bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Remove the beans and bake for another 5 minutes until the crust turns golden.
  2. Fully baking the crust for no-bake fillings: If you’re making pies with no-bake fillings like custard or cream, it’s important to fully bake the crust. This ensures that it’s cooked through and maintains its structure when the filling is added. Bake the empty crust at 180°C for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Adjusting baking times: The baking time for your shortcrust pastry will vary depending on the type of filling and the thickness of the pastry. Dense or wet fillings may require longer baking times to cook the pastry fully. Keep an eye on your pies and tarts while they bake, and adjust the oven temperature as needed to achieve a perfectly cooked crust.

By following these baking tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious shortcrust pastry with a crispy texture and beautiful golden color. Now, let’s move on to the final section and wrap up our guide to easy shortcrust pastry recipes.


In conclusion, mastering the art of making sweet shortcrust pastry is a breeze with this easy recipe. By following the simple steps and helpful tips provided, you can create delicious homemade crusts for both your favorite sweet and savory pies and tarts. Whether you’re craving a classic pumpkin pie or a mouthwatering chicken pot pie, this versatile shortcrust pastry recipe will never disappoint.

With its flaky and buttery texture, this sweet shortcrust pastry is the perfect foundation for any filling. The combination of flour, butter, and water creates a melt-in-your-mouth crust that will delight your taste buds. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting out, this recipe is accessible to all and guarantees success every time.

So, roll up your sleeves, gather your ingredients, and get ready to impress your family and friends with your homemade pies and tarts. With this easy recipe, you’ll become a shortcrust pastry expert in no time. Enjoy the satisfaction of creating mouthwatering sweet treats that will leave everyone asking for your secret recipe.


What is a shortcrust pastry?

Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry dough that is commonly used for both sweet and savory pies and tarts. It is made with basic ingredients like flour, butter, and water, and yields a flaky and buttery crust.

How do I make shortcrust pastry?

To make shortcrust pastry, you will need 225g of plain flour, 125g of cold butter, a pinch of salt, and 4-5 tablespoons of cold water. Rub the cold butter into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs, then gradually add the cold water until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Knead the dough lightly, then wrap it in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Can I make shortcrust pastry using a food processor?

Yes, you can make shortcrust pastry using a food processor. Simply add the flour, cold butter, and salt to the processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the cold water while pulsing until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and lightly knead before refrigerating.

What is the difference between sweet and savory shortcrust pastry?

The main difference between sweet and savory shortcrust pastry is the addition of sugar in sweet pastry. Sweet pastry is often used for desserts and sweet pies, while savory pastry is used for meat pies and quiches. The sugar in sweet pastry helps to create a slightly sweeter and crumbly crust that complements sweet fillings.

What kind of fillings can I use with sweet shortcrust pastry?

Sweet shortcrust pastry pairs well with a variety of delicious fillings. Some popular options include fruit fillings like apple, cherry, or berry, custards and creams like chocolate ganache or lemon curd, and even nut-based fillings like frangipane or pecan. Get creative and experiment with different flavors!

How do I roll out shortcrust pastry?

Start by lightly dusting your work surface and rolling pin with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the chilled dough on the floured surface and roll it out gently, turning it occasionally to ensure an even thickness. Roll from the center outwards, keeping the edges as straight as possible. Use a circular shape larger than your tart or pie dish to achieve the desired size.

How do I transfer the rolled-out shortcrust pastry to a pie tin or tart dish?

To transfer the rolled-out pastry, gently fold it in half and then in half again to create a quarter circle. Lift it up and place it in the pie tin or tart dish, then carefully unfold it to cover the dish. Gently press the pastry into the edges and sides, trimming any excess. Don’t stretch the pastry, as it may shrink during baking.

How do I decorate the edge of the shortcrust pastry?

There are several ways to decorate the edge of shortcrust pastry. One option is to use your fingers to crimp the edge by pressing it between your thumb and index finger. Another option is to use a fork to press down along the edge, creating imprints. You can also use a sharp knife to make small slits or cut out shapes on the edge, or use decorative pie crust cutters to create intricate designs.

Do I need to blind bake shortcrust pastry before adding the filling?

For some pie fillings, it is necessary to blind bake the shortcrust pastry before adding the filling. Blind baking involves baking the pastry crust without the filling to ensure that it is fully cooked and crisp. This technique is often used for fillings that don’t require baking or have a short baking time, such as custards or cream-based fillings. Follow the recipe instructions for blind baking times and temperatures.

How do I adjust the baking time for shortcrust pastry based on the filling and thickness?

The baking time for shortcrust pastry can vary depending on the type of filling and the thickness of the pastry. As a general rule, if your filling requires baking, follow the recipe instructions for the filling, and adjust the baking time for the pastry accordingly. Thicker pastry may require slightly longer baking times to ensure it is fully cooked and golden. Keep an eye on the pastry while it bakes and adjust the baking time as needed.

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