Shortcrust Pastry

This is a fail safe, go-to recipe for perfect shortcrust pastry every time. It works for both sweet and savoury, and best of all, you don’t need to study patisserie to be able to make it.

The rule is always half the amount of butter to flour, and use only the tips of your fingers to work the two into crumbs.

Ingredients:

200 g cold butter, diced

400 g flour

a pinch of salt

approx 5 – 8 teaspoons of chilled water

1. Put the flour, salt, and butter into a large bowl, and begin rubbing the butter into the flour with your fingertips. Keep picking up small amounts of butter and flour and rubbing them into each other and letting them fall. Do this for about five minutes, or until all the butter has been incorporated and it resembles large coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Make a shallow well in the centre, and add a couple of teaspoons of chilled water. Using your hands and working quickly, stir the water in to bring the pastry together. Always start with a very small amount of water and add more sparingly, you don’t want a soggy wet pastry.

3. When the pastry has come together, shape the mixture into a ball and wrap in clingfilm. Chill it for at least fifteen minutes before using it, either in a cool place or in the fridge.

4. When you’re ready to use it roll it out on a lightly floured surface. I like to roll it between two sheets of baking paper, but you don’t have to. This amount of pastry will easily give you a 25 cm tart, quiche, or pie.

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