NZ Woman's Weekly

Shortcrust pastry

Makes enough for one pie

2 cups plain flour
½ tsp salt
180g cold butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp ice cold water

1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and rub in butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (or use a food processor to do this).

2. Add egg yolk and enough water to combine into a firm dough. Don’t add too much water or the dough will be tough. 3. Knead lightly to bring mixture together, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.

To make light and luscious pastry every time, keep these top tips in mind:

  • It is best to work in a cool space and the ingredients must be cold too (for example, use ice-cold water and butter). This way you don’t end up with a sticky, buttery mess.
  • Add 3 tbsp of caster sugar to the flour to make sweet shortcrust pastry.
  • When rubbing butter into flour, take care not to overwork the mixture or the butter will become oily and the pastry sticky. If using a food processor, pulse the mixture in short bursts.
  • If you are new to pastry making, use a food processor to rub the butter into the flour, but add the egg yolk and water by hand. Adding too much water results in tough pastry.
  • over-kneading will end in tough pastry too so knead only enough to bring the dough together.
  • Chilling and resting pastry helps avoid shrinkage during cooking – wrap pastry tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  • Try not to add too much extra flour when rolling out pastry or it may become dry and crumbly.
  • Don’t stretch the pastry when lining pie tins. Instead, gently ease it into place – this will prevent the pastry shrinking during cooking.
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