Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust Pastry

The key to lovely, light shortcrust pastry is to use proper butter and mix it quickly with the flour, using a fork or pastry blender rather than using your fingers. This quantity of pastry is sufficient for the top and base of an 18cm/7” pie, a large baking tray or 24 small tarts.

Prep time: 20 mins Bake time: as per your recipe Makes: 400g pastry
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  • 200g Wessex Mill Plain White Flour
  • 100g butter
  • 5-7 tbsp cold water
  • plus butter, for dish
  • plus flour, for dusting


  • 1 x pie dish
  • 1 x baking tray or tart tray
  • 1 x mixing bowl
  • 1 x pastry blender


180°C, Fan 160°C, 350°F, Gas 4 or as per your recipe

  • Pre-heat the oven.

  • Rub a little butter around the inside of your baking dish or tart tin.

  • Measure the flour into a mixing bowl.

  • Chop the butter into small cubes and add them to the bowl.

  • Using a fork or pastry blender, work the butter cubes into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  • Stir in enough of the water to bring the pastry together into a soft dough.  If it is suddenly too wet, cover and leave it to stand for 10 minutes.

  • Using your hands gather the mix together to form a smooth ball of pastry dough.

  • Dust the work surface with flour, put the dough in the middle and sprinkle it with flour.

  • Roll out the pastry until 3mm/ ⅛” inch thick.

  • Press a cookie cutter into the pastry if making tarts, lift the pastry into the baking dish, OR simply press it into the baking dish using your fingers.

  • Gather the unused pastry into a ball and re-roll or freeze for use on another day.

  • Continue as per your recipe.

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