If you have never made your own pastry from scratch then I suggest you try this easy shortcrust pastry recipe for your first attempt. My homemade shortcrust pastry recipe is easily adapted for either a sweet or savory dough, and can be further enriched by the addition of cream instead of the iced water.
Sometimes it may be more convenient to purchase ready rolled sheets or blocks of pastry as it is not always practical to make the pastry myself when I want to make a pie or tart at short notice. For those occasions I always keep ready rolled butter shortcrust or puff pastry in the freezer.
However, the taste of a commercial pastry does not come close to the pastry you can make yourself. It contains butter yes, but also a lot of other additives.
- 225 grams cake flour
- 125 grams cold butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp cream use iced water if you prefer a less rich pastry
- 45 ml castor sugar for sweet tart pastry
Ensure that all the ingredients are very cold before starting.
Pulse the butter, flour (and sugar if making a sweet pastry) in a food processor until it has the consistency of breadcrumbs.
Alternately, rub in the cold butter with two knives or a pastry cutter. Try not to use your hands as it will warm up the butter.
Add the egg and cream or iced water and mix until just combined.
Bring the pastry into a ball and flatten into a disk on a piece of cling wrap. This makes it easier to roll into a round shape later.
Chill and rest the pastry for about 30 minutes before use.
Switch on the oven and pre-heat to 200 degrees celcius.
Roll out the pastry and line a tart pan ensuring that the pastry overlaps the sides a bit as it may shrink during baking if not rested enough. I chilled it again for another 10 minutes before baking.
Prick the base and line with parchment paper and baking beans or beans, and bake blind for about 10 minutes.
Remove the baking beans and bake for another five minutes. Be careful not to get a burn as you may drop the beans and damage the tart case.
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