Many fabulous desserts start with a Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Tart Casing. The perfect buttery yet flaky pie crust to many sweet treats
A simple combination of butter, flour, icing sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Mixed by hand or electric mixer, chilled and spread over a tart pan before being blind baked in the oven.
How to make a Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Tart?
Follow along our easy steps to make your own pastry tart at home.
We have a slideshow below, a recipe card at the bottom, and this detailed blog post for more information should you need it.
Top tips for Flawless homemade Sweet Shortcrust Pastry?
First top tip make sure your ingredients, kitchen and hands are cool at all times, if anything gets to warm the butter will melt which will make the pastry hard to work with! Return to the fridge for 15 minutes if this happens and run your hands under cold water to cool them down.
What temperature should butter be for shortcrust pastry?
Do not use melted or room temperature butter for making sweet shortcrust pastry, cut cold butter into cubes and use your fingers to rub into the flour and icing sugar.
You can use a electric mixer if you wish, it is best to use the paddle or blade attachment.
Once the butter and sugar resemble fine breadcrumbs you are ready to add egg yolks and vanilla essence.
Adding flavoured essence to sweeten pastry crust?
We like to add vanilla essence to flavour our sweet shortcrust pastry tart, you can use any flavour you like.
Stir the egg yolks and essence using a fork until it forms into a dough.
What is the correct texture for Shortcrust Pastry?
First of all, do not over work or handle your pastry too much.
Once it is smooth, pliable and the texture of play dough it is perfect. It should not have cracks in it.....
If it seems too dry add splashes of ice cold water until softened.
Should I cool Shortcrust Pastry?
You must always cool your pastry before rolling to make the butter firm, making up it easier to work with when rolling out for the tart tin.
Cover in cling film and cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Help my sweet shortcrust pastry is too dry / cracking / crumpling / breaking / hard to roll?
If the pastry is dry & cracking under the pressure of your hands or rolling pin simply add splashes of ice-cold water and work that through as quickly as possible, without handling too much.
It may also need to go back in fridge again after handling?
Top tips for rolling Shortcrust Pastry?
Always start with chilled shortcrust pastry. Work quickly to prevent it getting too warm.
Instead of adding too much flour to roll out on the worktop. I roll on grease proof paper, this makes it easier to turn between rolling and prevents over handling.
You will only need to flour your pin. Do not use too much flour as it will dry out the pastry.
Push down or whack the solid pastry with rolling into a flatter circular shape before rolling.
Turn grease proof ¼ turn after each roll and only roll away from yourself once each time.
Roll out until bigger than your tart tin / tart pan.
Whats the best Tart tin / pan / dish to use for dessert pastry tart?
Hands down the best result for crispy, buttery sweet pastry, in my opinion, is a loose bottom, non-stick fluted tart or flan tin. May also be called flan dish, or pie pan?
What size tin to use?
I use a 23cm / 9inch tin.
Roll the pastry on to your pin. Allow it to gently settle into pan. Don't worry if it cracks a little.
Take some of the excess pastry and roll into a ball, use this pastry ball to push the pastry into the base and around the edges.
Lift up the sides as you push it down with the ball to prevent over stretching and cracking.
If it does crack use the ball to help seal the crack together again with a dap of water if needed.
Now you can cut away all the remaining pastry from the edges.
Finally, prick holes in the base with a fork. This is known as docking, which prevents the dough from puffing up during cooking.
You are now ready to blind bake the tart. I normally like to chill again after 15 minutes before putting in the oven for best results.
Or if making the tart crust ahead, it can be left overnight in the fridge.
How to blind bake shortcrust pastry with baking beads, rice or dried beans?
I have baking beads as I think they work perfectly. But I have heard and seen good results with rice or beans or even flour too, you choose what you want!
The best advice I can give is to crumple up greaseproof paper (I use the same bit I used to roll pastry out on).
Tip your chosen weight into the crumpled paper.
Allow the paper to hangover the crust to prevent it colouring too quickly.
How to oven bake Shortcrust pastry tart?
Place in 160C / 320F preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Remove paper and beans, place back in oven for 5 more minutes to brown off a little.
Now you are ready to make your filling for the tart!
Check out our Old School Butterscotch Tart for one option
Or deliciously sweet, Raspberry Frangipane - Bakewell Tart.
Here is a sneak peak of our last creation, and what the pastry looks like once sliced.
Perfectly baked and even deliciously flaky dessert pastry for all your recipe creations!
We will add more tart ideas, to use you sweet shortcrust casing for to our collection for you soon.
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Tart
- 220 gram Plain Flour ( 1 ¾ cups)
- 115 gram Butter ( ½ cup) cut into 1-2 inch small squares
- pinch salt
- 50 gram Icing Sugar (¼ cup)
- 2 Eggs, yolks only
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Essence
- 2 tablespoon ice cold water
- Add flour, butter cubes, icing sugar and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
- Rub with fingertips until the mix resembales fine breadcrumbs
- Add egg yolks, vanilla essence and ice cold water. Use a fork to begin forming together.
- Check texture with your hands, it should be soft and pliable, like playdough. If its dry and cracking add more ice cold water a splash at a time until the right texture. Try not to handle it too much!
- Form into a flat rounded shape. Wrap in cling film or greaseproof paper. Rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better.
- Preheat oven to 160°C / 320F fan.Lay down a sheet of greaseproof paper larger than the tart tin. Flour your pin anytime it gets sticky.Use the rolling pin to beat and soften the pastry enough to roll. Roll pastry away from you once, turn greaseproof paper ¼ turn and repeat always rolling only once each time before turning. Until it is bigger than your tart tin allowing for extra to overhang.
- Roll pastry on to the pin, unroll gently over the tart pan.
- Take some of the excess pastry and roll into a ball, use this pastry ball to push the pastry into the base and around the edges. Lift the edges whilst you are pushing to prevent stretching/ cracking.
- Trim away excess pastry
- Use a fork to poke holes into the base of pastry. For best results chill for another 15 minutes.
- Using the greaseproof paper you rolled on, crumple it up into a ball. Then uncrumple it and place in tart. Add your baking beads / rice / beans
- Bake in 160°C / 320°F fan oven for 15 minutes. Gather up paper to remove the baking beads and bake for a final 5 minutes.
- You pastry case is now ready to be filled with whatever sweet treat you desire?!
Let us know what you make with your Homemade Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Tart?