Short-crust pastry is used for a wide variety of tarts and pie bases which need a sweet version. It is highly versatile. The basic recipe is shown here. It should be crunchy but tender and buttery all in one mouthful. If you need the simple savoury version then see this recipe.
In the USA it is often known as a sweet short pastry and in France it is called Brisée.
For many chefs, making a sweet short-crust pastry is a basic skill of the kitchen which should be practised often because it is so commonly used in baking.
- 180g-200g plain flour
- 125g salted butter, cubed
- 65 – 70g caster sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- A food processor comes in handy here otherwise it needs to be done by hand. Put all the flour and the cubed butter into the processor. Keep pulsing until fine crumbs are formed.
- Manual technique: The flour and butter are mixed together using the fingertips to form a mixture that looks like fine breadcrumbs.
- Add the sugar and continue to pulse again to combine if using a food processor otherwise add to the crumb as in step 2.
- Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water and then just blitz until the dough comes together in a ball. Add another tablespoon of water if the dough is not forming and it is still too crumbly.
- Flatten into a rough patty shape, wrap in cling-film or a tea towel and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge before rolling out to make whatever tart base is needed.