How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking. This is the easiest, quickest, and probably the most popular of pastries to make than the richer pastries.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Easy to follow recipe and takes minutes to make. Suitable for freezing before or after baking.

It can be used for both savory and sweet dishes, such as a quiche or a frangipane.

I've made this recipe for shortcrust pastry incredibly simple, and you can choose to make it either by hand or using a food processor. I always make this shortcrust pastry by hand. It takes a matter of minutes and there's less washing up and messing with equipment!

How do you make pastry by hand?

The technique is to lightly rub in the fat using your fingertips, and as with all pastry, you should work in cool conditions. You do need to make sure the butter is chilled.

This site contains affiliate links. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, check Privacy Policy.

If you're making this in the hot Summer months, I suggest you cut the butter in to small cubes and pop in the freezer for 10 minutes to get really cold.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Easy to follow recipe and takes minutes to make. Suitable for freezing before or after baking.

The pastry, once baked is light, buttery and crispy.

It's a pure delight to eat and the beauty of this shortcrust pastry is that if you make a batch or two, you can freeze by simply wrapping it in some plastic wrap. Then when you want to use it, allow it to defrost in the fridge and roll out as normal.

This recipe will be enough to cover an 11 inch or  28 cm flan dish. I often make 2 small tarts with one batch of pastry!

Once you've made your own pastry, you won't go back to ready made shop bought stuff!

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

Approx 20 - 30 min

Yield

1 (see dish size)

INGREDIENTS

8 oz or 225 g plain flour
5 oz or 150 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar (if making sweet pastry)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt (if making savory pastry)
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp cold water

The quantity of pastry is enough to line a flan dish (including the sides) measuring 23 cm, 9 inches and cover the top.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 180 C, 375 F, Gas 5 (if the recipe requires BAKING BLIND the pastry)

2. Mix sieved flour, and sugar or salt (if using) in a large bowl.

Add cubes of butter. 

The photo below shows ground pecans added to the mixture. (I was making a pie crust for our Caramel Pecan Butter Banana Pie recipe!)

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing ingredients ready for mixing

3. Rub in fat using the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing how to use rubbing in method


Aerate the flour by lifting (with your fingertips) the mixture above the bowl and allowing to fall back through the fingers.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

4. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the middle and start by adding the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of cold water. 

Using a metal round-bladed knife, stir the mixture and combine well before adding a further tablespoon of water.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

5. Once the mixture starts to go lumpy, use your hand to combine the mixture.

Try not to handle the dough too much as it will lose its lightness and crumbliness once cooked.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

Keep combining with your hand, adding a tiny bit of water as you go if necessary.

Don't worry at this stage if you think it's too dry.

Your instinct is to add lots more water, but trust me, DON'T!

The more you mix it, the dough will come together. Be patient!

The ultimate goal is to have the mixture come together into a ball, your bowl should be completely cleaned from pastry,

(i.e. it is not sticky and gluey),

and the dough should be dry enough it doesn't stick to your hands, and quite stiff.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Showing pastry coming together

Every brand of flour is different and absorbs liquid at different amounts, so it is difficult to be precise with how much water you will need so add a little at a time.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Sweet or savory, place in the fridge

6. Once your dough is ready you can place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest, or just continue with your recipe for what you are cooking.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Sweet or savory, how to roll

7. Shape the dough into a ball, or whatever shape your dish is. Roll lightly and try not to 'overwork' or roll too much as this will damage the structure of the pastry and you will lose the 'shortness' or crumbliness, plus all that air you were so busy incorporating when you were rubbing in the fat!

Roll out the pastry thinly, around 1/2 cm in thickness. 

To avoid too much rolling, handling and shaping, have your flan dish handy and place it on top of your pastry to check for size.

Cooking times will vary depending on what you are using the pastry for.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Sweet or savory, great tasting and easy to follow recipe for you. Happy Rolling! Suitable for freezing before or after baking. Very handy recipe!

As a rough guide, 8-10 minutes for something small, 20-35 minutes for larger pies, or until the pastry takes on a nice golden brown color. Follow the instructions on the recipe you are making!

It may be your recipe is asking you to Bake Blind. If that's the case, you can check out our simple baking blind guide for how to do that.

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Sweet or savory, great tasting and easy to follow recipe for you. Happy Rolling! Suitable for freezing before or after baking. Very handy recipe!

We have also got a great tutorial for a flaky pie pastry recipe which you might like too!

We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our Shortcrust Pastry recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!

Recipe Card

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Easy to follow recipe and takes minutes to make. Suitable for freezing before or after baking.

How to Make Shortcrust Pastry

Yield: one 9 inch pie dish
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

How To Make A Quick Basic Pie Crust, Shortcrust Pastry. Sweet or savory. Suitable for freezing before or after baking.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz or 225 g plain flour
  • 5 oz or 150 g cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 4 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar, if making sweet pastry
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, if making savory pastry
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp cold water

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 180 C, 375 F, Gas 5 (if the recipe requires BAKING BLIND the pastry)
  2. Mix sieved flour, and sugar or salt (if using) in a large bowl. Add cubes of butter.
  3. Rub in fat using the tips of your fingers until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  4. Aerate the flour by lifting (with your fingertips) the mixture above the bowl and allowing to fall back through the fingers.
  5. Once the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, make a well in the middle and start by adding the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon of cold water.
  6. Using a metal round-bladed knife, stir the mixture and combine well before adding a further tablespoon of water.
  7. Once the mixture starts to go lumpy, use your hand to combine the mixture. Try not to handle the dough too much as it will lose its lightness and crumbliness once cooked.
  8. Keep combining with your hand, adding a tiny bit of water as you go if necessary. Don't worry at this stage if you think it's too dry. Your instinct is to add lots more water, but trust me, DON'T! The more you mix it, the dough will come together. Be patient!
  9. The ultimate goal is to have the mixture come together into a ball, your bowl should be completely cleaned from pastry, (i.e. it is not sticky and gluey), and the dough should be dry enough it doesn't stick to your hands, and quite stiff.
  10. Every brand of flour is different and absorbs liquid at different amounts, so it is difficult to be precise with how much water you will need so add a little at a time.
  11. Once your dough is ready you can place in the fridge for 20 minutes to rest, or just continue with your recipe for what you are cooking.
  12. Shape the dough into a ball, or whatever shape your dish is. Roll lightly and try not to 'overwork' or roll too much as this will damage the structure of the pastry and you will lose the 'shortness' or crumbliness, plus all that air you were so busy incorporating when you were rubbing in the fat! Roll out the pastry thinly, around 1/2 cm in thickness.
  13. To avoid too much rolling, handling and shaping, have your flan dish handy and place it on top of your pastry to check for size.
  14. Cooking times will vary depending on what you are using the pastry for. As a rough guide, 8-10 minutes for something small, 20-35 minutes for larger pies, or until the pastry takes on a nice golden brown color. Follow the instructions on the recipe you are making!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 446Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 446mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate

Delicious Sweet Recipes Using Pastry

Here's a selection of delicious sweet recipes using pastry

Leave a Reply to Jenny.U

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

26 thoughts shared

      1. Hi Janice, the granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve as quick because the grains are bigger but otherwise it is fine.

  1. is this American measurements? just wondering about the tablespoon.Many thanks. Am in Australia, our tablespoon measure is 20ml and dessertspoon 10ml

    1. Hi Kathleen, the brown stuff is brown sugar I added when I was making this pastry for a pecan pie! But you can use regular white sugar too. Hope that helps!

    1. Hi Audra, with this pastry, you can freeze before or after. I have done both and the only disadvantage if you freeze after is that the nice pastry case could get damaged or knocked in the freezer, but taste and quality is no different. If I freeze the cooked cases I usually put them in a freezer drawer where I am not likely to be shoving other stuff in for fear of breaking them!

  2. Comment author image

    Pamela Fraim

    says:

    I am going to try this, I have never made a crust but you make it so easy to understand and your pictures are great, step by step :) thank you so much <3

      1. Hi there, I doubled the recipe, but found it too dry…hard to form a ball, added a bit more water… have you tried to double… does it come out the same

      2. Hi Rita,
        Yes, I have doubled the recipe many times (when I make two pies for example). As with any pastry when you use flour, there is no exact measure of water you should use, simply because flour brands vary, even each batch of flour can be very different in how much water they absorb. So my advice would be to use the amount of water in the recipe, then add extra in 1 tablespoon amounts, combining in between until it forma a ball. So long as you have all the other measures correct, in particular the butter, it will come to a ball. I suggest you start with a round bladed knife to combine everything, then when it looks lumpy, use your hand to gather the mixture together. If it still doesn’t form a ball then, add a little more water and so on, until a ball forms.
        I hope this helps. I have used this recipe for many years, and I do know the water measure really can vary depending on the flour. Be patient, add a little water at a time and it will work for you!