Shortcrust pastry is a kind of pastry that is used as a base for tarts, pies, and quiches. It can be used for making both savory and sweet pies like lemon meringue, chicken pie, and apple pie. Recipes for this kind of pastry call for twice as much fat as flour by weight. Fat available as shortening, lard, full-fat margarine or butter is rubbed in plain flour for creating a loose blend. You have to use a small quantity of ice water to bind the mixture. It is rolled out and shaped and placed for forming the bottom or the top of a meat pie or flan. Generally, equal quantities of lard and butter go into making the pastry. Butter is used for making the cake rich in flavor, and the lard ensures maximum texture.
Different Varieties Of Shortcrust Pastries
There are several varieties of shortcrust pastries, and they are as follows:
The Pate Brisee
It is a classic version of the shortcrust cake. It is unsweetened, and you can use it for savory and sweet creations.
Pate Sucree Or Sweet Crust
It is a sweetened shortcrust pastry. The use of sugar does not only sweeten the flavor of this pastry but also dissolves the gluten in the flour. The result is a delicious, tender, and flaky texture. The dough works fine as the base for layered desserts and tart cookies and even as sweet tart covering.
It is just a variation of the Pate Sucree that comes included with eggs.
Pate A Foncer
It is a French variant of the shortcrust cakes. It is made of milk and eggs and a dash of sugar. All the wet ingredients in this recipe are creamed lightly before being worked into flour. The result is rich dough that can be used in the form of the tart crust.
How To Bake A Shortcrust?
You need to follow some essential tips when baking a shortcrust pastry. Following these rules, religiously will serve you in the right way in all your pastry-making endeavors.
- Chilling the fat is very important. Lard, margarine, butter, or shortening, anything that you are using in the form of fat should be chilled. This is important because chilling keeps the fat from being creamed into flour that can offer the dough a completely wrong texture.
- Once you complete the process of making the dough, allow it to sit or rest for some time. Refrigerate it for minimum 30 minutes before being used. This helps the flour in absorbing the liquid, which further makes the dough elastic and pliable and thus more convenient to handle. Allowing the dough to rest also gives the pastry a nice, light, and flaky texture.
- When refrigerating the dough. Try forming it into a flat disc instead of a ball. This will make it easier for you to roll the dough when you are using the pastry.
It is vital to pay attention to making the right dough when you want to come up with a shortcrust pastry.