How to Make Plain Short Crust Pastry

Short Crust Pastry can form the basis of so many different recipes. Including both sweet and savoury options.

Ready-made short crust pastry is easily available in supermarkets, both in the fridge and freezer sections. But honestly it is really easy to make and doesn’t take that much time at all.

plain short crust pastry

About Plain Short Crust Pastry

Short Crust pastry is one that is made with a higher proportion of fat and contains no raising agent to make it rise and expand during baking. It is light and crispy. A tender pastry which crumbles easily when eaten.

With its crumbly biscuit-like texture soaking up fluids it makes it perfect for quiches, tarts, samosas and pies. Plus it is surprisingly sturdy when removed from a tin.

There are many types of short crust pastry, but this recipe is for plain. Which is most used for savoury fillings; however it is a good all-rounder as it’s also good for sweet fillings too.

It can kept in the fridge for 1 or 2 days, if you need to keep it longer than that then it can be popped in the freezer.

Ingredients for Plain Short Crust Pastry

  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 125g cold butter, diced
plain short crust pastry ingredients


  1. Weigh and prepare your ingredients.
  2. Next sieve the flour into a large bowl.
  3. Then add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the beaten egg and mix to a firm dough.
  • Knead the dough briefly and gently on a floured surface.  Finally wrap in cling film or a plastic bag to stop it drying out.
  • Finally chill for at least 30 minutes or until you are ready to use.
  • Bring back to room temperature before using (around 30-40 minutes).
  • Add flour to the work surface to roll but ensure that you do not use too much.
  • Wash your hands in cold water before handling – to ensure they’re not too hot. Make sure that you roll and handle the dough as little as you can.
making plain short crust pastry
  • Use a metal tart tin as this will ensure that the bottom is well cooked and not soggy. Make sure not to stretch the pastry into the tin as it could shrink back when cooking, which will cause leaks. If there are any tears when linking the tin just simply wet your fingers or use a brush to moisten the short crust pastry and push it back together.
  • Allowing a little overhang will also help avoid leaks from shrinking – they can always be trimmed later.
  • Once you have lined your tin with short crust pastry then allow it to rest for five minutes in the fridge to allow the fat to harden.
  • Again to prevent a soggy bottom add cold fillings otherwise it will cause the fat to melt.
  • Glaze the short crust pastry before cooking. Use egg whites if you want a shiny finish. Beaten eggs or egg yolks for a deeply coloured shine. Finally milk or cream for a matt golden colour.

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