Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry

Are you daunted by the prospect of making your own pastry? Many people are. Today I am going to show you how to make foolproof, Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that works for both sweet and savoury bakes.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry every time.

Having been taught to make pastry from an early age, I wonder if the fear that surrounds making it is simply the fact that skills are not being passed down, through the generations. like they used to be.

Watching cooking programmes, where they actually portray the ‘art’ of pastry making as such a complicated process, it is understandable that some people are terrified and therefore never attempt it. Well I am with you today to show you how simple it is to make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry, that will turn out beautifully every single time!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry great for quiches.

Firstly, just to reassure you, no kitchen machinery is used. Not even a food processor. To be completely honest, setting the food processor up, in my kitchen, takes longer than actually making the pastry by hand. I really can’t be bothered with the hassle. Instead the only two pieces of equipment I use are a dinner knife and pastry cutter.

If you haven’t seen or heard of a pastry cutter, this is what they look like!

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Pastry Cutter

They can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon or kitchenware shops. A quick glance on the Internet has assured me that the still cost £5 or under. Money well spent I’d say.

The simple key to making good pastry, every single time, is to work quickly, yet not rush and in doing so keep everything as cold as possible. Please, please do not become neurotic about it, as I have seen of some people.

From personal experience every time I am stressed, rushed or uptight about something, when I bake, it inevetiably goes wrong. Or at least isn’t my best baking. Making pastry whilst relaxed and knowing that the recipe is going to work, can make a whole world of difference.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Fabulous pastry for all your tarts and quiches.

Right that’s mindset and equipment sorted, next are ingredients. I use unsalted butter in all of my baking, simply because it tends to be better quality than salted and also allows me to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Plain flour and free range eggs are the other two ingredients to note.

The quantity of cold water added is a guide as different batches of flour, butter, the weather, can all affect how much water is needed to bring the dough together.  Don’t panic I will walk you through every step.

You can make Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

Recipe: Makes 825g Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry – enough to make 2 large quiche/tart cases.

400g/14oz Plain White Flour

200g/7oz Unsalted Butter – cold from the fridge and cut into cubes

1/4tsp Sea Salt Flakes – I use Maldon

2 Large Free Range Egg Yolks

Approx 180-200ml Cold Tap Water

Method:

  • Into a large bowl add the flour, salt and cubed butter.
Ready to start 'cutting in' the butter.
Ready to start ‘cutting in’ the butter.
  • Using the pastry cutter, push and twist it into the flour, rotating the bowl occasionally. Scrape any butter that has become stuck on the pastry cutter off using a regular dinner knife.
  • Keep cutting the butter into the flour until it is about the size of peas.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
You can clearly see pieces of butter throughout the flour.
  • Note: the flour does not look like breadcrumbs. This is traditionally how pastry making has been taught, to rub, or cut into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. If you do this your pastry will be ok. However, if you leave pea sized pieces of butter in the flour you will end up with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
  • Next add the 2 egg yolks into the centre of the mix.
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
Look how beautifully golden the free range egg yolks are?
  • Add 150ml of cold tap water and stir the pastry using a regular dinner/butter knife.
  • Continue adding water, in small amounts, 10mls, at a time, stirring with the knife until the pastry starts to come together.
  • Now switch to using your hands. Create a claw-like figure with your fingers. Gently bring the dough together, adding a little more water as necessary, until it just holds together in a rough ball shape.
The perfect All Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry ball.
  • Wipe the worktop surface with a clean, damp cloth, then lay over a large piece of cling film – the wet surface helps the cling film to stick and not move about.
  • Tip out the ball of pastry onto the cling film.
  • Wrap and shape into a large disc.
Your All Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
Your Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is now ready for some relaxation time!
  • The Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry now needs to be placed in the fridge for an hour to chill and relax – literally!
  • Pop the kettle on and congratulate yourself on making Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry 😉

This recipe made enough pastry to bake a full sized quiche, a smaller deep tart and a Strawberry and Cream Filled Tart. Not bad for a few minutes of early morning pottering in the kitchen.

  • Whilst the Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry is resting in the fridge, it is an ideal time to prepare the filling.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • Deseed and slice half of a sweet red pepper. Slice 4-5 small button mushrooms.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a heavy based frying pan and gently sauté both the red pepper and the mushrooms, until cooked through. Set to one side.

Rolling out the Pastry:

  • Remove the pastry from the fridge. Place on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly.
  • Cut the pastry into 4 pieces.
  • Shape one piece of the pastry into a ball.
  • Roll out gently from the centre of the pastry to the edge. Ensure the pastry keeps moving by dusting underneath lightly with flower.
  • Ideally the pastry should be about the thickness of a £1 coin – approx 1/4 inch.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
You can see the pieces of butter clearly in the rolled out pastry.

Lining a Tin with Pastry:

  • Loop the pastry around the rolling pin – this makes moving it easier and stops it stretching.
  • Gently allow the pastry to loosely fill your tin, remove the rolling pin.
  • Ease the pastry into the tin, if it is fluted be sure to press the pastry into each of the flutes avoiding stretching it.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Don’t worry about the excess pastry draped over the sides of the tin.
  • Roll your rolling pin over the top of the tin and it will cut the edge of the pastry perfectly. See the first picture at the top of this blog.
  • Dock the bottom of the tin with a fork – this helps steam escape and creates a flat base.
  • Place the tart tin back in the fridge for 30 minutes, this really helps the pastry keep it’s shape when being baked.
  • Cut some baking parchment larger than the width of your tin.
  • Scrunch up and then lay on top of the pastry in the tin. Fill the baking parchment with ceramic baking balls.
FF Perfect ButterShortcrust Pastry
The ceramic baking balls keep the pastry’s shape as it bakes in the oven.
  • Place the pastry lined tins onto a baking tray and put in a preheated oven at 200C/180C fan, gas mark 6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • After the baking time has elapsed remove the tin from the oven.
  • Using the baking parchment, lift the baking balls free from the pastry lined tin.
  • Place the baking balls in a heatproof bowl to cool.
  • Put the tart tins back in the oven and bake for another 5 minutes if using for a filled tart or quiche. If baking the tart shell until cooked, depending on size, bake for a further 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.
Beautifull be golden tart shell.

Making the Red Pepper Mushroom Ale Jelly Quiche:

  • After the further 5 minutes bake, without the baking balls, remove the tart tin from the oven.
  • Place the red peppers in the base of the tart. Next add a tablespoon of Ale Jelly. Then add the sautéed mushrooms.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Add a few fresh thyme leaves.
  • In a jug mix 4 large eggs with a tablespoon of milk. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  • Pour the egg mixture on top of the peppers and mushrooms. Fill until it is near the top.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Slightly under fill the tart shell as the eggs puff up whilst baking.
  • Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. The quiche is baked when the egg is set and feels firm to the touch. There shouldn’t be any wobble to the egg filling.
  • Once baked remove the quiche from the oven and leave to cool. Serve warm for dinner/lunch. Cool completely for storing in the fridge, well wrapped in cling film.
FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Beautiful, golden yellow quiche with red peppers, mushrooms and fresh thyme

Look at the gorgeous Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry crust. Deliciously light and buttery.

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Such a tasty quiche, the ale jelly brings out the sweetness in the red peppers.

The Ale Jelly from Hawkshead Relish also works well with the earthy, meaty flavour of the mushrooms.

As you can see from the photos this recipe really does produce Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry. The pastry has such a delicious flavour of it’s own and becomes part of the dish, not just a carrier of other flavours.

Unused Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry can be kept wrapped in cling film, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can be frozen, wrapped in cling film and popped into a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

Top Tip: Freeze any leftover pastry and after a while you’ll have enough for a recipe!

If you have enjoyed this Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry here are some other recipes you may like to try:

Quiche Lorraine

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Smoked ham and cheese create a classic Quiche Lorraine.

Spicy Sausage Rolls

FF Perfect Pastry Shortcrust Pastry
Spicy Sausage Rolls can easily be made with Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry.

Blackberry Nectarine Tart

FF Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry
Perfect Butter Shortcrust Pastry works well in place of puff pastry for this beautiful Blackberry Nectarine Tart.

Phew, I know this has been a long post, but I really wanted to show you just how easy it is to make your own pastry. This recipe can be used for sweet and savoury dishes. I always make double and freeze half down, which effectively is what this recipe already is. Except I was recipe testing over a few days and made 6 different quiches!!!

If you have any questions regarding pastry, especially if you are making it for the first time, I am always happy to answer. Either leave a comment, or for a quicker reply send me a Tweet.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens. Preparing for feasting over the bank holiday weekend.

Sammie xx

Hawkshead Relish provided me with the Ale Jelly for this recipe. This is not a sposored post and I have not received payment for writing it. All opinions, view, photographs and content are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

Hi, thank you for stopping by to take a peek at my blog, especially as it is The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while but life has been running at 200mph this past week!!!

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year my parents-in-law's Christmas Cake. They were thrilled with it! www.feastingisfun.com
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year my parents-in-law’s Christmas Cake. They were thrilled with it! www.feastingisfun.com

Christmas prep, birthdays, practise Christmas (I’ll explain later in another post !!!!) and general life!

Now I love Christmas, seriously, I mean it!  I really love Christmas Day itself, but I also love the build up.  It really is, for me, the most wonderful time of the year.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year decorating the tree helps get me in the festive mood! www.feastingisfun.com
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year decorating the tree helps get me in the festive mood! www.feastingisfun.com

Yes it’s busy, add in a couple of birthdays in the first half of December and we are talking super busy.  But it’s also really,  really good fun.

I would happily give up my birthday every year for Christmas.  That’s how much I love and enjoy it!!!  In fact I very happily spent my birthday putting extra decorations (mainly of the chocolate kind!!) on our Christmas tree!!

Some may say that Christmas has become over commercialised, they may have a point.  Others still insist on nit picking that they day itself – 25th December – was not the day that Christ Himself was indeed born,  indeed dates varying from September through to March are mooted by ‘Intellectuals’ who have studied etc!!!!  Others still insisting that Christmas itself was hijacked, by the church, from Pagans celebrating the Winter Solstice and many more theories besides!

DOES IT MATTER????

I mean honestly, fairy lights certainly wouldn’t look quite as nice, bedecked during the lighter months……..

Seriously, Christmas is about remembering and celebrating the greatest gift ever given to mankind.  JESUS.  The Son of God.  God incarnate. Born of a virgin, to live upon this earth and show ALL that we have the most Merciful, Gracious, Loving, Living, Wonderful, Awesome Heavenly Father.

Our Lord JESUS Christ.  Hope to the hopeless.  Light to a world in darkness.  Peace in times of turmoil.  Life to certain death. Healing to the broken. LOVE to hatred.  God Himself living amongst us.

Yeah I think that’s worth celebrating!

Christmas is a time, like no other, when, even the hardest of hearts are reminded of this most precious of gifts, Jesus was born.

Amongst all the lights, present shopping, wrapping, delivering. Food to be bought and cooked. Decorations decanted from the attic and dutifully put up. Cards written to people we love and remember.  Yes it is a very busy time.

But in amongst all of the mentioned and more a little baby is remembered. Born in the lowliest of settings (not a 5 star hotel!) a King.  He had no pomp or ceremony – or did He?

An Angel announced His arrival to nearby Shepherds, reassuring them to not be alarmed. I’m not sure there are too many people who make their entrance into this world with that?

My favourite Christmas tree decoration xx
My favourite Christmas tree decoration xx

So I celebrate Christmas with all of my heart. I love that ‘The Light of the World’ is represented in every single, sparkling fairy light. That villages, towns and cities across our beautiful Nation are adorned with Christmas lights and look so different from any other time of the year.

Homes are opened more freely to neighbours, friends and loved ones more than at any other time of the year.

Families gather, across our Nation to feast on Christmas Day, even if it doesn’t fall on a Sunday!!

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year chocolate christmas pudding cookies www.feastingisfun.vom
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year chocolate christmas pudding cookies www.feastingisfun.com

Homeless people are offered warmth, love, friendship and food, especially because it is Christmas.

Some people may disagree with me and that’s fine. We are allowed freedom of opinion.

I would urge those of you who are stressed or anxious, especially at this time of year to seek Peace and Rest in Him who is Peace. For those who believe Christ has been eradicated from Christmas Day, to remember His name starts the day. To those who believe the Nativity story, is, just that, a story, to ask themselves how many other stories have endured for more than 2000 years?

At this time I would ask you, the reader to remember why we celebrate CHRISTmas? And to remember others, the cold, lonely, those who feel unloved and show them love.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year or how about sharing a slice of Christmas cake? www.feastingisfun.com
It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Instead of popping a card through the door of an elderly neighbour, knock and spend a few minutes talking to them. We cannot, each of us make a difference in every persons life. That’s why JESUS came! But if each one of us can impart warmth, time, a meal to just one other person and make them smile, then surely Christ will become, again the very HEART OF CHRISTMAS.

Enjoy Christmas for It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year.

Sammie x

 

 

 

Share This Facebooktwittergoogle_plustumblr