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Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

I’ve been using Mary Berry’s Shortcrust Pastry recipe for all my pies and tarts, and it’s the buttery, flaky outcome that wins over everyone who tries it.

What I love about this recipe is its reliability; follow it closely, and you’re guaranteed a golden, delicious base for any filling.

A valuable tip is to keep all your ingredients, especially the butter, as cold as possible to achieve that desirable texture.

This pastry is a joy to work with, forgiving yet yielding results that speak of homemade care and traditional baking.

How to Make Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Ingredients List

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85g (3oz) cold butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Prepare the ingredients: Begin by measuring the correct amounts of plain flour, butter, and cold water.

Make sure the butter is cold and cut into cubes.

Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour and a pinch of salt.

Incorporate butter: Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture.

Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Step 2

Add cold water: Gradually add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water to the mixture.

Mix using a fork until the dough comes together.

Form a soft dough: If necessary, use your hands to gently bring the mixture together and form a soft dough.

Be careful not to overwork the dough.

Step 3

Wrap and chill: Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and refrigerate it for approximately 1 hour.

This step is important for resting the dough, which will result in a flakier and crispier finished pastry.

Prep the flan tin: As the dough is chilling, prepare a loose-bottomed flan tin by lightly greasing it with butter.

You can use a simple circular flan tin or a fluted one for a decorative edge.

Step 4

Roll out the pastry: After the dough has chilled, lightly dust a clean work surface and roll the pin with flour.

Roll out the pastry dough until it is large enough to cover the base and sides of the flan tin.

Transfer the dough: Carefully lift the rolled-out pastry and gently place it into the prepared flan tin.

Use a sharp knife to trim any excess pastry hanging over the edges.

Step 5

Bake: Depending on the recipe you’re using, such as a Quiche Lorraine or custard tart, follow the specific baking instructions for that dish.

Generally, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and bake the pastry for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Now that you know how to make Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry, you’re ready to create delicious and impressive dishes using this classic, versatile foundation.

Side Dishes for Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

When preparing a delicious meal with Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry, you might wonder what side dishes would best complement your creation.

Here are a few side dishes that you can consider serving alongside your shortcrust pastry dish:

Green Salad

A simple and refreshing green salad can be the perfect accompaniment to your pastry dish.

It provides a light and crunchy contrast to the richness and comfort of the pastry.

Use a mix of your favorite greens, like spinach, arugula, or lettuce, and add a dash of dressing to enhance the flavors.

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted vegetables can be a great side dish for any savory pastry.

Their natural sweetness pairs well with the buttery pastry, and the roasting process helps to bring out their complex flavors.

Consider carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, or tomatoes.

Just toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast until tender.

Ingredients Substitutes

Plain Flour Substitute

If you don’t have plain flour on hand, you can use an equal amount of all-purpose flour or cake flour as a substitute.

Both of these flours have a similar protein content to plain flour and will provide a similar texture to your shortcrust pastry.

Icing Sugar Substitute

In case you don’t have icing sugar available, you can make your own by blending granulated sugar in a food processor until it reaches a fine, powdery consistency.

Use the same quantity of homemade icing sugar as you would store-bought icing sugar in the recipe.

How to Store Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Storing your Mary Berry shortcrust pastry properly is essential to maintain its freshness and quality.

Here are some methods you can follow:

In the refrigerator

Wrap your shortcrust pastry dough in cling film or place it in an airtight container.

Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When you’re ready to use the pastry, remove it from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes before rolling it out.

In the freezer

If you plan on using the pastry at a later date, consider freezing it.

To do so, wrap the dough tightly in cling film and place it in a freezer-safe bag or container.

Label the container with the date and type of pastry to make it easy to identify later.

It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To use the frozen pastry, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then allow it to rest at room temperature for a while before rolling.

Remember always to keep your shortcrust pastry well-covered to prevent it from drying out.

Also, ensure that it is separated from other strong-flavored foods in your refrigerator or freezer to prevent any transfer of odors.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Using Butter at Room Temperature

One mistake to avoid when preparing Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry recipe is using butter at room temperature.

To ensure a perfect shortcrust pastry, the butter should be very cold.

This will help create a flaky texture once baked.

Incorrect Oven Temperature and Cooking Time

Ensure that you preheat your oven to the correct temperature, as this can greatly impact your pastry’s final texture and appearance.

Follow the recipe instructions for the ideal cooking time of 25-30 minutes.

Overcooking or undercooking your pastry may result in a tough or soggy crust.

Not Using Proper Utensils and Tins

Utilize the right tools, such as a palette knife, food processor, sharp knife, and a loose-bottomed flan tin for the best results.

A palette knife will help you incorporate the butter evenly into the flour, while the food processor can make this step much faster.

A sharp knife is essential for trimming excess dough neatly from the flan tin.

Neglecting to Dust the Pin with Flour

It is important to dust your rolling pin with flour before rolling out the dough.

This will prevent the dough from sticking to your pin and tearing, ensuring a smooth and even crust.

Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

When it comes to mastering the art of pastry, Mary Berry's shortcrust pastry recipe is a must-try for any home baker.
As one of the most well-known and beloved British bakers, Mary Berry has shared her expertise through her numerous cookbooks and television appearances, such as on the Great British Bake Off.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Equipment
  • 1 simple circular flan tin
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 1 fork
Ingredients
  
  • 175 g plain flour 6 oz
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85 g 3oz cold butter, cubed
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
Instructions
 
  • Prepare the ingredients: Begin by measuring the correct amounts of plain flour, butter, and cold water.
    Make sure the butter is cold and cut into cubes.
    Combine dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour and a pinch of salt.
    Incorporate butter: Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture.
    Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add cold water: Gradually add 2-3 tablespoons of cold water to the mixture.
    Mix using a fork until the dough comes together.
    Form a soft dough: If necessary, use your hands to gently bring the mixture together and form a soft dough.
    Be careful not to overwork the dough.
  • Wrap and chill: Wrap the pastry dough in cling film and refrigerate it for approximately 1 hour.
    This step is important for resting the dough, which will result in a flakier and crispier finished pastry.
    Prep the flan tin: As the dough is chilling, prepare a loose-bottomed flan tin by lightly greasing it with butter.
    You can use a simple circular flan tin or a fluted one for a decorative edge. 
  • Roll out the pastry: After the dough has chilled, lightly dust a clean work surface and rolling pin with flour.
    Roll out the pastry dough until it is large enough to cover the base and sides of the flan tin.
    Transfer the dough: Carefully lift the rolled-out pastry and gently place it into the prepared flan tin.
    Use a sharp knife to trim any excess pastry hanging over the edges. 
  • Bake: Depending on the recipe you're using, such as a Quiche Lorraine or custard tart, follow the specific baking instructions for that dish.
    Generally, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and bake the pastry for 25-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.
    Now that you know how to make Mary Berry's shortcrust pastry, you're ready to create delicious and impressive dishes using this classic, versatile foundation.

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