Learn how to make shortcrust pastry with egg to use for both sweet and savoury dishes. It’s easier than you think and can be made in just 10 minutes. You’ll love the taste of this pasty, it’s so much tastier than store bought.

How to make shortcrust pastry. Closeup of just baked pastry case.
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About This Shortcrust Pastry

This shortcrust pastry is a very easy to make.
It is buttery and melts in your mouth.
It is made with milk and egg, giving it more flavour.
It’s easy to roll.
This pastry can be adapted for both sweet and savoury dishes.
Side view of baked shortcrust pastry pie case.
Learn how to make shortcrust pastry and how to prebake pie crusts, just like the one above.

Not only will I show you how to make shortcrust pastry. I will show you how blind bake and make your own prebaked pie crusts that can be frozen to be used later.

How to Make Shortcrust Pastry – FAQ

Is shortcrust pastry easy to make?

Yes, it’s very quick and easy make. It can be made in about 10 minutes.

Is shortcrust pastry flaky?

This recipe for shortcrust pastry is flaky. It’s flaky because of the way it’s made. Rather than kneading the butter into the pastry, the butter is cut into tiny chunks and left lumpy in the pastry. When baked the butter melts and creates air pockets in the pastry making it flaky.

Image showing pockets of butter in the shortcrust pastry

Can shortcrust pastry be made in advance?

Yes, it can be made up to two days in advance, but it’s best used on the day it’s made.

How do you store shortcrust pastry?

Keep uncooked shortcrust pastry in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic. It can be stored this way for two to three days. However, the dough will turn a slight greyish colour, don’t worry about the colour, it can still use it.

Can shortcrust pastry be frozen?

Yes, it can be frozen. To freeze, shape the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic, and place in a freezer bag.

Alternatively, you can roll the dough, line a baking dish, place in the freezer unwrapped and allow to harden, then tightly wrap in plastic and return to the freezer. It can be stored this way for 2- 3 months.

How to defrost shortcrust pastry?

The dough will take about 24 hours to defrost in the fridge. Once thawed, allow the dough to soften slightly at room temperature for about 20 – 60 minutes, which will make it easier to roll.

The dough should be soft and still cold when you roll it. If it’s been left out for too long and is warm, place it back in the fridge to chill before using.

Can you defrost shortcrust pastry in the microwave?

I don’t recommend defrosting shortcrust pastry in the microwave. Microwaves tend to defrost things unevenly, which can cause pockets of melted butter in the pastry which will ruin it.

Is shortcrust pastry sweet?

This recipe for shortcrust pastry in not sweet, but if you add sugar to this recipe you can make a sweet shortcrust pastry.

How to make shortcrust pastry sweet?

To make a sweet shortcrust pastry, add about 4 -5 tablespoons of caster sugar (fine sugar) or icing sugar (powdered sugar) to the flour before making the dough.

What is blind baking?

Blind baking is a process of baking a pie crust or other pastry without a filling. The pie crust is usually lined with baking paper or foil, then filled with pie beads or dried beans. The weight of the pie beads will help the pie crust hold its shape during baking.

Does shortcrust pastry need to be blind baked?

Yes, blind baking shortcrust pastry is a must. It will stop the bottom of the pie from becoming soggy and reduce shrinkage. Depending on the type of pie you are making, the pie crust can be partially or fully baked.

Partially cooked also known as prebaked pie crusts are generally blind baked for about 15 minutes using pie beads, and a further 5 minutes without pie beads. Use prebaked pie crusts for quiche, meat pies or any pie that needs baking.

Fully cooked pie crusts are generally blind baked for about 15 minutes with pie beads, and 10 – 15 minutes more without pie beads, or until the bottom turns golden brown.

Fully baked pie shells are used for dessert style pies that don’t require baking, like fresh fruit filled pies, pies that are set with gelatine or cream pies

How to store cooked shortcrust pastry?

Store cooked pie crusts in the fridge if they are to be used with 3-4 days. Otherwise wrap in plastic and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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How to Make Shortcrust Pastry – Step by Step + Hints & Tips

You will need butter, plain flour, salt, egg and milk.

Start by combing the flour, salt and sugar (if using) into a large mixing bowl.
Then cut some butter into cubes. You will need cold butter straight from the fridge, cut it into pieces, the smaller the better.
Cubed and chilled butter for shortcrust pastry

Tip: After cutting the butter into cubes, return it back to the fridge if you are not ready to make the pastry.

Add the butter to the flour.
Cubes of chilled butter in flour for shortcrust pastry
Then use your fingertips, or pastry blender, or a firm pastry scraper to rub or “cut” the butter into the flour, breaking it into tiny uneven pieces.
Image showing butter and flour mixture combined to look like crumbs.
Use a pastry scarper or pastry blender to work the butter into the flour.

Tip: If using your fingers, work quickly to break the butter into the flour. This will stop the butter from becoming too soft.

Close up of what the flour and butter should resemble after mixing.

Work the butter into the flour so it looks like very coarse breadcrumbs.
Make a well in the centre of the flour.
Next you will need to add moisture to the mixture. The moisture is a combination of egg and milk. Rather than adding each separately, combine the two. To do this, beat the egg and place it into a cup, then top it up with milk. Pour most of the egg/milk mixture into the flour/butter mixture.

Tip: Make sure that the egg and milk is fridge cold.

Milk and egg mixture added to the flour.
Use a knife and or a pastry scraper, and gradually work the flour into the liquid. Adding a little more of the egg/milk mixture if necessary.
Image showing knife used to make the dough.
You just want to gently fold the dough until it just comes together, avoid kneading. Kneading the dough will make it tough.
The dough should be soft and not sticky, if you’ve added a little too much liquid a little more flour.
Image showing pastry scraper used to make shortcrust dough.

Use the pastry scraper or your hands press the dough into a ball.
Shortcrust pastry shaped into a loose ball.
Cover tightly in plastic and place in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight before rolling.
Image showing shortcrust pastry wrapped in plastic food wrap.
Image showing comparison of shortcrust pastry before and after chilling.

You should still be able to see lumps of butter in the dough after mixing.
Divide the dough into two, place one half on a lightly floured surface. Wrap the other half in plastic and return to the fridge, this can be used later for a pie top, another pie crust or it can be frozen for use later.
Image showing half quantity of shortcrust pastry.
Dust the top of the dough and the rolling pin with flour. Then roll the dough to a size lager enough to line the sides and base of the flan tin.
As you roll out the dough move it from time to time and dust underneath with a little flour. This will stop the dough from sticking to the bench.
Image showing rolled shortcrust pastry with flan tin on top.
Roll the dough so that it is large enough to line the base and sides of the flan tin.
When you are ready to line the tin, roll the dough onto the rolling pin and lift it onto the tin.
Image showing shortcrust pastry rolled on rolling pin.

Tip: It is not necessary to grease the tin. The dough has enough butter in it, which will stop it from sticking.

Image showing how to place shortcrust pastry in flan tin.
Use your hands to gently ease the dough into the tin. If it tears just press it back together.
Gently press the dough to the sides and base of the tin and allow it to overhang the sides. Return to the fridge and allow to chill for 1 hour.
Image showing shortcrust pastry pressed into flan tin.
Before blind baking, cut away the excess dough from the top of the tin. This can be done using a knife or just pressing down with your thumb.
Closeup image showing excess shortcrust pastry trimmed from the top edge of the flan tin.

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How To Blind Bake A Pie Crust

What can I use to blind bake?

In order to blind bake you will need something to act as a pie weight inside the pie crust. The pie weights need to completely fill the cavity of the pie case, right up to the top. Doing this will stop the crust from bubbling and will prevent shrinkage.

You could purchase ceramic pie weights, but this is not necessary. There are other things that you can use as pie weights. You could use dried beans, lentils, popcorn kernels, dry soup bean mix, rice or a combination of these.

Once used these can be left to cool, then stored in a jar to be used next time you need to bake a pie crust.

Blind baking with rice

Baking paper lining the shortcrust pastry for blind baking.
Line the base and sides of the pie crust with a piece of baking paper.
Scrunching the baking paper will help it sit better inside the pie crust.
Then carefully fill the inside of the pie crust with rice, right up to the top. Use your fingers to gently press the paper and rice into the outer edges of the base. Make sure that rice does not slip in between the baking paper and crust.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, then carefully lift the paper and rice from the pie crust. Use a fork to poke the base with holes. Return the crust back to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more for a partially cooked pie crust. For a fully cooked pie crust, cook for 10 – 15 minutes more or, until the base is a nice golden brown.
Image showing shortcrust pastry case filled with rice for blind baking.
Blind baking with rice.

Don’t throw away rice that has been used for blind baking. Cook it as you normally would the next time you need to cook rice.

Image showing shortcrust pastry after blind baking.

Allow the pie crust to cool before using.

Now you know how to make short crust pastry and pie crusts you can fill it any number of delicious sweet or savoury fillings.

Scottish fruit slice squares
Leek and smoked salmon quiche
Mini strawberry tarts
Easy fruit mince pies

More Delicious Recipes Using Pastry

Creamy Mixed Vegetable Pie with Shortcrust Pastry
Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Pineapple
Easy Samosa Beef Puff Pastry Sausage Rolls
Browse all Savoury Snack Ideas
Top view of baked shortcrust pastry.

How To Make Shortcrust Pastry – Printable Recipe

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How to make shortcrust pastry.
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How to Make Shortcrust Pasrty & Prebaked Pie Crusts

Learn how to make shortcrust pastry with egg. This is an easy recipe that can be adapted for both sweet and savoury recipes. With a step by step guide for making prebaked pie crusts.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Pastry
Cuisine: Western
Servings: 1 pie crust with a top or 2 pie crusts without a top
Author: Harriet Britto

Equipment

  • Metric scales
  • Metric measuring jug or cups
  • Firm pastry scraper or pastry blender (these are optional)
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup milk cold
  • 1 egg beaten cold
  • 360 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 220 grams butter cold and cut into tiny cubes

For sweet shortcrust pastry

  • 4 – 5 tablespoons caster sugar (fine sugar) or icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Instructions

Making Shortcrust Pastry

  • Place the beaten egg into a measuring jug, add enough milk to make 1 cup (250 ml). Put aside.
  • Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine.
    Note: If you want sweet shortcrust pastry mix in 4 – 5 tablespoons of caster sugar (fine sugar) or icing sugar (powdered sugar) to the flour.
  • Add the cubed butter to the flour.
    Note: You can use salted or unsalted butter.
  • Rub with your fingertips (or use a pastry blender) to mix until it resembles crumbs.
    Butter rubbed into flour .


  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in almost all of the of the egg/milk mixture.
  • Use a knife or pastry scraper to work the flour into the milk mixture, it should just come together and should not be sticky. If it has not come together, add a little more of the milk mixture.
    Note: If the dough is a little sticky, dust with some flour and fold it into the dough.
  • Use your hands to press the dough together and form a ball.
  • Cover with plastic and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using.
    The above steps are for making the shortcrust pastry dough – you can stop here and continue on with your chosen recipe. Or, continue with the following to make your own prebaked pie crusts.

Making Prebaked Pie Crusts

    You will need a 25 cm round loose bottom flan tin, that’s 3 cm deep, or something similar.

    • Divide the dough into two even sized pieces.
      Note: Blind bake one half for a prebaked pie crust. Store the other half in the fridge until ready to use. It can be used as pie top if you are making a sealed pie or use it to bake a second pie crust if you are making an open pie or flan.
    • Place the dough onto a floured surface and lightly dust the top of the dough and rolling pin.
    • Roll the dough out large enough to line the base, sides and above the height of the tin.
    • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and lift it onto the top of the tin.
      Use the rolling pin to lift the dough onto the baking tin.


    • Use your hands to gently ease the dough into the tin. If it tears just press it back together.
    • Gently press the dough to the sides and base of the tin and allow it to overhang the sides. Return to the fridge and allow to chill for 1 hour.
      Shortcrust pasty lining the tin.
    • Before blind baking, cut away the excess dough from the top of the tin. This can be done using a knife or just pressing down with your thumb.
      Trim the edges before blind baking.
    • Line the base and sides of the pie crust with a piece of baking paper.
      Note: Scrunching the baking paper will help it sit better inside the pie crust.


    • Then carefully fill the inside of the pie crust with rice, right up to the top. Use your fingers to gently press the paper and rice into the outer edges of the base. Make sure that rice does not slip in between the baking paper and crust.
      Rice used as pie weights.
    • Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, then carefully lift the paper and rice from the pie crust. Use a fork to poke the base with holes. Return the crust back to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more for a partially cooked pie crust. For a fully cooked pie crust, cook for 10 – 15 minutes more or, until the base is a nice golden brown.
    • Allow the pie crust to cool before using or freezing.

    Notes

    Make sure that the butter, milk and eggs are cold and ensure that the dough remains cold when rolling and shaping.
    The dough must be chilled before baking.
    This recipe make about 770 grams of dough. Enough to make 1 pie with a pie crust top., or 2 pie crusts without a top.
    This dough can be frozen both raw and cooked – Please refer to the detailed notes on my recipe page.
    https://recipepocket.com/how-to-make-shortcrust-pastry/

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    Images showing uncooked shortcrust pasty pie shell.
    Easy step by step how to make shortcrust pastry.

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    Pocket Food Facts

    Did You Know?

    A tiny bit of salt is important in the diet. It helps the body transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscles and helps maintain body fluids. Read more about salt here.

    Pocket food fact #93



    Image by Bruno Glätsch from Pixabay