Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
My Go-To Sweet Shortcrust Pastry for Tarts, Pies and Galettes or Crostata. Makes enough dough to cover up to a 10-inch round tart pan with a 1-inch lip.
- 225 grams (8oz) unbleached all purpose flour
- 30 grams (1oz) granulated white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 110 grams (4oz) unsalted butter, cold, preferrably frozen
cut into cubes if using a food processor
- 2 egg yolks (from large eggs)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste/vanilla extract; OR 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; OR seeds of half a vanilla bean Optional. Vanilla bean and paste will have the best all-purpose flavour. A hint of almond works well with apple, apricot, banana, caramel, cherry, coffee, fig, honey, orange, peach, pear, plum.
- 1-2 tablespoon cold water
Instructions for Hand Mixing
Grate frozen butter into the flour mixture using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your fingertips or a pastry cutter/blender, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resemble bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks and the vanilla or almond extract/paste (if using) with a fork. Mix into the flour mixture with your hand, a wooden spoon or a pastry cutter.
Keep mixing while dribbling water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough. It is ready when it starts to stick together when squeezed by the fistful.
Instructions for Mixing with a Food Processor
Place flour mixture into the food processor and pulse with the butter cubes, a few pieces at a time until they resemble bread crumbs.
Lightly beat the egg yolks and the vanilla or almond extract/paste (if using) and drizzle over the flour and butter mixture. Pulse a few times until mixed.
Drizzle with a tablespoon of water and pulse. You can add more until it starts to clump together.
How to Use Sweet Shortcust Pastry / Pâte Sucrée
After refrigerating the disc of dough, roll it out.
If making it into a tart, refrigerate the dough in the tart pan for at least 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours), or chill in the freezer for 15 minutes, before rolling, filling and baking.
To make a quick fruit rustic tart: Mix your favourite fruit with a few sprinkles of flour, sugar, spices (like ground cinnamon and nutmeg), and about 1-2 teaspoons per 100 grams of fruit depending on their juiciness. Pile about an inch-high of the fruit mixture, leaving about 1.5 to 2 inch space between the fruit and the edge of the dough. Wrap the edges over the mixture to enclose the filling. Brush dough with egg wash. Add small pats of butter over the fruit if you want to have a shiny top, and sprinkle some turbinado or raw sugar for a little sweetness and crunch. Bake at 30-40 minutes at 375°F and it’s done.
Disc of dough can be refrigerated for 24 hours and frozen for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.