Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

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 Updated 20/03/2017

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A shortcrust pastry is the most common type of pastry, used for both sweet and savoury pies, tarts, pasties and quiches. The usual recipe is half the quantity of fat to flour. The higher the fat content the "shorter" or more crumbly the pastry. All the ingredients need to be kept cool and handled as little as possible.

Here are links to other pastry recipes on the site:

Biscuit Crumb
Biscuit Pie Crust
Hot Water Crust
Pate Sucree
Rough Puff
Suet Crust


  • 2 cups (8oz) plain flour
  • 4 level tablespoons lard
  • 4 level tablespoons butter or margarine
  • pinch of salt
  • cold water
(see measure conversions for more information on quantites)


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the lard and the butter and chop it up roughly with a knife.
  3. With cool fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water and then, using a knife, mix lightly into a dough.
  5. Add a little more water if necessary but be careful not to add too much.
  6. The dough should not be sticky.
  7. Gently bring the dough into a ball by hand, gathering up any stray bits of dough.
  8. Leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours before using.
  9. To use, roll lightly with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface.

Prep Time: 180 minutes

Cook Time: NA

Yield: NA


Just run out of lard. Can i just use veg oil margarine with good result?
#3 - Christine in Ibiza. - 06/10/2011 - 06:21
I think the more often you make pastry you adapt yourself to how you like it and how you want to do it. Some people say they are heavy handed but if the brain is relaxed and calm and feeling quite floaty your hands are instantly lighter so your pastry is better!
#2 - Saffron - 11/11/2010 - 09:46
Hi Shirley,
For an easy shortcrust pastry blend 2 cups high-grade flour with a pinch of salt and 125 grams of cold, diced butter in your food processor until it resembles breadcrumbs. This should happen quite quickly. You may need to stop the processor halfway and push the mixture down the sides and break up any solid mixture at the bottom of the processor to incorporate it. Then, with the motor still running add 1/2 cup cold water a bit at a time until the mixture clumps together in a ball. When it does this, stop the processor straight away and wrap the ball of dough in plastic cling film and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Pastry needs to be chilled to prevent shrinkage and toughness.

Good luck,
#1 - Tracey - 12/03/2009 - 19:47
what do I do wrong I am unable to make pastry.
I have tried it in my food mixer, my food processor, and by hand
and still I can not get it right
any advice on the above would be much appreciated.
#0 - shirley - 11/24/2009 - 16:01
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