Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

By the end of this post, not only will you love this easy shortcrust pastry recipe but you will have mastered making it like a total baking pro! It can seem tricky at times but if you let me show you how to make shortcrust pastry (the easy way!) I promise you won’t ever be intimidated by it again. Read on for all my helpful tips and tricks!

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

When you feel confident making shortcrust pastry, baking epic desserts like butterscotch tart and cornflake tart will become second nature too. That’s what this super easy shortcrust pastry recipe will do for you – give you confidence!

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

I was just like you before creating this recipe. I’ve had many failed attempts over the years, plenty of soggy bottoms and lots of very unsatisfactory results. In all honesty, it made me not want to bake it anymore so I used shop bought instead. (Which generally tastes rubbish and costs more!)

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

 

This shortcrust pastry recipe changed all that! It’s such a simple method using simple ingredients that make a very robust and easy to use pastry. Trust me, you’re going to fall in love with it!

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

So if you’re ready to up your pastry game and never buy one from the supermarket again, keep reading!

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

What makes this shortcrust pastry recipe so good?

I admit, there are literally thousands of shortcrust pastry recipes out there. So what makes this one special? I’ll tell you…

  1. It’s really easy to make.
  2. There’s no egg so it’s easy to halve the recipe.
  3. It’s suitable for both sweet and savoury recipes.
  4. You can freeze it.
  5. It’s very cheap to make.
  6. It’s packed full of tips to help you every step of the way.

 

I really do implore you to try it.  It’s game changing, I promise!

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

Can you freeze shortcrust pastry?

Yes you can! If you flatten it, wrap it tightly in clingfilm and place it into a freezer bag, you can freeze it for up to 1 month. Just remember to thoroughly defrost it in the fridge before using. (This could take up to 10 hours or so.)

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

How to make shortcrust pastry

  1. Mix flour and salt together in a bowl
  2. Rub cold, cubed butter into the flour
  3. Add a little cold water to bring it together
  4. Wrap in cling film and chill

 

And that’s it! Yes I know, it almost sounds a little too simple. Believe me, it really is a simple recipe, but I agree, there are a few things you need to know about pastry first. Check out the golden rules below…

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

 

The golden rules of shortcrust pastry

Shortcrust pastry is simple to make and requires only 4 ingredients. But if you’re going to make beautiful golden flaky pastry without a soggy bottom in sight – there are a few golden rules you need to know.

  1. Make sure your butter and water are cold – This is essential, not just at the start, but the whole way through the recipe. That’s why we chill it before we bake it, to resolidify the butter. Otherwise you would end up with badly mishapen and possibly greasy pastry, as the butter would melt too quickly.
  2. Don’t mess around with it too much – The more you play, poke and prod pastry the worse it gets. A light touch is key.
  3. Cold hands – Warm hands will melt the butter. You don’t want that in pastry making. Run your hands under cold water before you start to help with this. Alternatively you can use a pastry blender to avoid it completely.
  4. Time and patience – Making pastry can be a bit of a waiting game. If you rush anything (particularly the refrigerating) it will likely be your downfall. So be patient.

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves and some fabric.

Shortcrust pastry ingredients

Here’s everything you need to know about the ingredients needed to make shortcrust pastry.

  • Flour – Plain (all purpose) flour is best for shortcrust pastry. Different flours react differently in many ways and we like to keep things simple don’t we?! Stick to plain.
  • Salt – Table salt will do absolutely fine here. It’s super important for flavour though so don’t skip it!
  • Butter – I always use unsalted butter as it puts you in complete control of the salt content (and therefore, overall flavour). Just make sure it’s cold!
  • Water – Tap water is perfect, just make sure you run it for a little while to ensure it’s as cold as possible. 

 

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

Shortcrust pastry recipe tips

Even though shortcrust pastry appears easy enough to make, we all know that there are many ways for it to go wrong. Here’s a few top tips to help you avoid any pitfalls along the way.

  • Make sure your butter is cold. Rubbing warm butter into flour is not fun and will make bad pastry.
  • Ensure you use very cold water. This helps to keep the butter cold which makes for good pastry.
  • Add the water 1 tbsp at a time. You can always add more but you can’t take it out!
  • Don’t overwork it! The less you touch it the better. Remember – a light touch is key.
  • Remember to chill it after you first make it and after you’ve rolled/cut it too.
  • The larger the surface area, the faster it will chill. So flatten your pastry into a disc rather than leaving it in a ball to chill it quicker.
  • Don’t have time to burn? Place your pastry in the freezer for a faster chill time.
  • Roll it out quite thinly as it will puff up during baking. 
  • Blind baking? Don’t forget to prick the base all over with a fork to prevent any puffing up.
  • Brush your pastry with beaten egg for a shiny golden finish.

 

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

What can you make with shortcrust pastry?

Honestly, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few tasty ideas for you though…

 

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Here is what you will need to make 410g (14.5oz).

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

  • 210g (1 + 2/3 Cup) Plain/All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 113g (1 Stick or 1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, COLD
  • 5-6 tbsp Very Cold Water

 

Essential Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Pastry Blender *
  • Clingfilm

 

*While not technically ‘essential’, a pastry blender makes quick work of pastry and avoids your warm hands touching the cold butter. In other words, it makes making good pastry a lot easier!

 

To make your shortcrust pastry, first add the plain/all purpose flour (210g | 1 + 2/3 Cup) and salt (1/2 tsp) into a large bowl and mix briefly.

Flour and salt in a large glass bowl

Then cube up the unsalted butter (113g | 1 Stick or 1/2 Cup) and add it to the bowl. Make sure it’s cold!

Flour and salt in a large glass bowl with cubed cold butter on top

Now there’s two ways of doing the next step. Either you can rub the butter and flour between your forefingers and thumbs until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs OR you can use a pastry blender to achieve the same thing in a quicker time without your fingers aching. (I highly recommend the second option but the traditional way will work fine too.)

Flour, salt and butter in a fine breadcrumb consistency in a large glass bowl with a pastry blender

Next, run the cold tap until the water is as cold as possible, then add 4 tbsp to your pastry. Give it a quick mix then use your judgement to decide whether it needs another 1 – 2 tbsp of water. The dough should come together into a ball but it shouldn’t be sticky.

Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take it out. So add the water 1 tbsp at a time.

Shortcrust pastry in a large glass bowl

Finally, tip the dough out onto some clingfilm, flatten into a disc, wrap tightly and chill for 1 hour.

Shortcrust pastry wrapped in cling film and flattened into a disc.

At this point you can now use the shortcrust pastry however your recipe states. 

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

Have you used this recipe?

Have you used this shortcrust pastry recipe? I’d love to know if you have! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

A golden baked shortcrust pastry case surrounded by golden pastry leaves, a pastry blender and a piece of fabric.

Like baking to be as simple as possible?

You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Products That Make Baking Easier!

 

Liked this recipe? Pin it!

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

A loose bottomed fluted tart tin lined with unbaked shortcrust pastry surrounded by pastry leaves, a pastry blender and some fabric.

Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Yield: 410g | 14.5 oz
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

If you want to know how to make perfectly golden and flaky shortcrust pastry without all the headaches, this is the recipe for you!

Ingredients

  • 210g (1 + 2/3 Cup) Plain/All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 113g (1 Stick or 1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter, COLD & CUBED
  • 5-6 tbsp Very Cold Water

Essential Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Pastry Blender *
  • Clingfilm

Instructions

  1. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir briefly.
  2. Add the cold cubed butter.
  3. Rub the mixture between your forefingers and thumbs until it forms a fine breadcrumb consistency OR use a pastry blender to achieve the same thing.
  4. Add 4 tbsp of water and mix. If it's still a little dry add 1 - 2 tbsp more until it forms a dough. It should come together to form a ball but it should not be sticky at all.
  5. Wrap in clingfilm, flatten into a disc and chill for 1 hour.
  6. Use as per your recipe instructions.

Notes

*While not ‘essential’, a pastry blender makes quick work of pastry and avoids your warm hands touching the cold butter. In other words, it makes making good pastry a lot easier!

See the main recipe post for lots of helpful top tips.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 131Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

Enjoyed this post? You’ll love…

As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #221

6 thoughts on “Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe”

  1. Mervyn kitchen says:

    Would you recommend using a processor to make your shortcrust pastry

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Mervyn. No I wouldn’t recommend using a processor. Yes it can be quicker and easier BUT you can so easily over mix it which will make it really tough and horrible. I much prefer doing it by hand. Especially with a pastry blender, which makes it super quick and easy! (you can see that HERE.)

  2. Kippi says:

    Yum, I just pinned this pie crust recipe. Going to use it for a summer pie.
    Hugs,
    Kippi

    1. Emma says:

      Oh perfect, thanks Kippi! I hope it works out deliciously 🙂 Emma x

  3. Leslie Davidson says:

    Just made your White chocolate blondes. They are to die for.

    1. Emma says:

      That’s fab Leslie! So glad you like them 🙂 Emma x

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Hi, I’m Emma. Let me help you impress with delicious dishes using my easy recipes, step by step pics, tips & videos.

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