13 Sep How To Make Short Crust Pastry

Cooking Tips

How To Make Short Crust Pastry

13 September 2020

PREP. TIME: 15 min  Rest Time: 3 - 4 hours 

Short Crust Pastry is just one of those things you should know how to make yourself.  It only takes a few minutes literally,  and you can be sure that it is only made of the good stuff - as opposed to most pastries that we end up buying.

Short Crust Pastry can be sweet or savoury and is often used as a tart base or a pie base. Most sweet dishes can survive with using the no - added sugar version but if you want to sweeten the pastry see the variation below.

Recipe Template

The quantities below are sufficient for a 24cm fluted flan tin.


It is a good idea to make the pastry say in the morning - it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare the dough.  You need to chill and rest the dough for up to 3 hours before rolling it out.  Once you have rolled it out and lined your flan tin - you need chill it again for another hour.

Allow about 15 minutes to pre cook the pastry.

INGREDIENTS for a fluted 24 - 26cm flan tin

170 g Plain Flour + extra for rolling

115 g Cold Butter - plus extra for greasing

1 Egg 

1 Pinch Salt

About 2 Teaspoons Ice Cold Water


Sifter or wire strainer

Large chilled mixing bowl

Butter knife

Measuring Spoon


Digital Scales

Rolling Pin

Palette knife

24 - 26cm loose bottomed flan tin - no more than 4cm deep.

Tin foil or Pastry weights

Wire Cake Rack


Step 1 - Make the Pastry

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl.

Cut the weighed butter into small pieces approximately 1cm cubes

Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture lightly using your finger tips to rub the flour and butter together.

Beat the egg in a glass, lightly with a fork.

When the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, add some of the egg into the dough and mix with your hands.  If it is too dry - add a little more - you do not have to use all of the egg.

Gather the dough into a ball.  If the dough seems crumbly add no more than a teaspoon of water at a time.

Knead the pastry and press it into a cushion - this should take less than a minute.

Dust the dough lightly with flour and wrap it in baking paper.

Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or until it is firm) to allow the pastry to relax.

Step 2  - Prepare the tin or flan dish

Grease the flan tin or pie dish with butter.

Step 3 - Roll out the dough

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator 5 minutes before rolling it out.  If it seems too hard and resistant, tap it all over with a rolling pin.

Lightly flour a board or table and press the cushion with the heel of your hand into a round flat circle - about 2 -3 cm thick.

Dust a little flour under and over it and roll it out.  :

Roll from the centre of the disc to within 2 - 3 cm of the far edge.

Lift the dough and turn it clock wise, about the space of 2 hours on a clock face.

Roll again from the centre to witihin 2 - 3 cm of the far edge.

Repeat - lifting, turning, rolling - until the circle is about .25cm thick and about 30cm across.

If the pastry sticks to the board, lift it gently with a palette knife and sprinkle a little flour under it.

Step 4 - Line the Flan dish

Roll the pastry over the rolling pin, lift it up and unfold it over the prepared tin.

Gently press the pastry into the bottom and around the sides of the tin, being careful not to stretch it.

Roll the pin over the rim of the tin, pressing down firmly to trim off the excess pastry.

Prick the bottom of the pastry all over with a fork trying not to pierce all the way through.

Chill for 1 hour

Step 5 - Pre bake the pastry

Most recipes ask you to pre-bake the pastry.

Preheat the oven to 200c

Place a flat tray in the centre of the oven - this is better than a wire rack - to ensure even cooking of the base of the flan.

To keep the bottom of the pastry from puffing up, either bake it with pastry weights or cover the pastry with a sheet of buttered tin foil.

Place the foil over the flan tin and press it gently into the edges to support the sides of the pastry as it bakes.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, then remove the foil or the pastry weights.

Prick the pastry again, then return to the oven for about 3 minutes until it starts to shrink from the sides of the tin and begins to colour.

Step 6 - Cool

Remove the flan dish from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the filling.


For Sweet Short Crust Pastry, add 1 dessertspoon of Castor Sugar, and sift it with the flour.



Recipe by Time Life Books, The Cooking of Provincial France, 1970

Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey

More Recipes


April 8, 2020


July 16, 2020


May 2, 2019