Once you've perfected your shortcrust pastry, use it in our quiche Lorraine recipe, cherry pie or tomato tarte tatin. Also discover how to make rough puff pastry and achieve a perfectly flaky pie crust.


  • 200g (fine plain flour makes better pastry if you can get it) plain flour
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 50g lard, chilled
  • 2-3 tbsp (optional) caster sugar


  • STEP 1

    Sift the flour (don’t skip this bit, it aerates the flour and lightens the pastry) and tip it into a food processor or bowl. Add the fats. If you are processing, use the pulse button to whizz to breadcrumbs so that you don’t over-process it.
    Add a pinch of salt and the sugar, if using, and pulse to combine. Tip into a bowl. If you are making the pastry by hand, rub the fats into the flour with your fingertips until you have the same result.

  • STEP 2

    Add 1 tbsp cold water and stir with a knife to start to bring the pastry together (you want to have as little contact with the pastry yourself as possible to stop it getting too hot). Then use your fingertips to make the pastry into a ball, add more water, drip by drip if you need to, until the ball of pastry leaves the sides of the bowl.
    Wrap in clingfilm or put in a plastic bag, flatten to a thick disc and chill for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this bit either, it makes your pastry easier to roll out.

  • STEP 3

    Once chilled, roll out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin to the thickness you need, giving the pastry a quarter turn every few rolls to help it keep its shape.
    Shortcrust is generally cooked at around 200 c/fan 180/gas 6 depending on the recipe and is lined with baking parchment and filled with baking beans (baking blind) to stop it puffing up as it cooks.


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