Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe
Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 50 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 20 Mins

If you love baking pies and tarts, you will love this recipe from Mary Berry, one of the most famous and beloved British chefs and TV personalities. Mary Berry has been sharing her tips and tricks for making delicious shortcrust pastry for over 50 years, and her recipes are always easy to follow, reliable, and foolproof.

Shortcrust pastry is a versatile dough that can be used for both sweet and savory dishes. It is made from flour, butter, salt, and water, and when baked, it becomes a tender, flaky, and slightly crumbly crust that complements a wide range of fillings.

In this article, we will show you how to make Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry recipe in a complete step-by-step guide. You will learn how to prepare the ingredients, mix the dough, roll out the pastry, chill it in the fridge, and use it for various pies and tarts. You will also get some ideas on what to fill your pastry with, such as fruit, custard, cheese, meat, or vegetables.

By following this guide, you will be able to make your own shortcrust pastry at home with ease and confidence. You will impress your family and friends with your baking skills and enjoy the taste of homemade shortcrust pastry.

What is Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry recipe is a simple and classic recipe that uses only four ingredients: flour, butter, salt, and water. The ratio of these ingredients is 225g (8 oz) of flour to 100g (4 oz) of butter to 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 2-3 tablespoons of water. The dough is mixed by hand until it forms a ball that can be rolled out into a disc shape. The disc is then chilled in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

The basic steps of making Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry are:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the cold butter cubes and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Gradually add cold water while stirring with a fork until the dough comes together.
  4. Shape the dough into a disc shape using your hands or a rolling pin.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a ziplock bag.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.

Why You Love this Recipe

Here are some reasons why you might love this recipe:

  • It is easy to make with just four ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
  • It produces a flaky and tender crust that can be used for various pies and tarts.
  • It is versatile and can be filled with different kinds of fillings according to your preference.
  • It is reliable and consistent every time you make it.
  • It is fun and rewarding to see your own creation come to life.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

To make Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 225g (8 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 100g (4 oz) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

You may also need some additional ingredients depending on what kind of pie or tart you want to make. For example:

  • For quiche: eggs, cream
  • For meat pie: cooked meat, vegetables
  • For apple pie: apples

How to Make Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Making shortcrust pastry is very simple once you know how.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the cold butter cubes and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Gradually add cold water while stirring with a fork until the dough comes together.
  4. Shape the dough into a disc shape using your hands or a rolling pin.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a ziplock bag.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes before using.

How to Roll Out Shortcrust Pastry

Once you have chilled your shortcrust pastry disc in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, you are ready to roll it out for your pie or tart base.

  1. On a lightly floured surface or parchment paper, roll out the dough into an even circle using a rolling pin.
  2. If you want to make more than one pie or tart base at once, cut out circles using a cookie cutter or knife.
  3. Transfer the circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or greased with cooking spray.
  4. Prick them with a fork all over to prevent them from puffing up when baked.

How to Chill Shortcrust Pastry

Chilling your shortcrust pastry is an important step that helps it retain its shape and texture when baked.

  1. Place your chilled pastry circles on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or greased with cooking spray.
  2. Cover them loosely with plastic wrap or damp cloth.
  3. Refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before using.

Easy Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe

How to Use Shortcrust Pastry

You can use your chilled shortcrust pastry circles for various pies and tarts that require a flaky crust base.

Here are some examples of what you can fill your pastry with:

  • For quiche: Prepare your choice of eggs (beaten) and cream (whipped) in separate bowls.
  • For meat pie: Prepare your choice of cooked meat (chopped), vegetables (sliced), gravy (made), etc.
  • For apple pie: Prepare your choice of apples (peeled), sugar (sliced), cinnamon (ground), etc.

To assemble your pie or tart:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) or according
  2. Place your pastry circles on a baking sheet or a pie dish.
  3. Spoon or spread your filling over the pastry, leaving some space around the edges.
  4. Fold or crimp the edges of the pastry over the filling to seal it.
  5. Cut some slits on top of the pastry to allow steam to escape.
  6. Brush some beaten egg or milk over the pastry to give it a golden shine.
  7. Bake your pie or tart in a preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Uses of Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Shortcrust Pastry For Sweet Dishes:

Let’s switch to sweet dishes. With a couple of tweaks, the same pastry can be used for desserts. For a sweet pastry, I often add a tablespoon of sugar to the dough.

Sweet Filling Varieties

I’ll provide you with filling ideas ranging from the traditional apple and cinnamon to a more indulgent chocolate or custard filling. These fillings are simple to make and bring out the best in the pastry.

Baking Tips for Sweet Pastries

When baking sweet pastries, the same temperature rule applies – preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). The key is to bake until the edges are just starting to turn golden, which brings out the perfect balance of crispness and tenderness in the pastry.

Presentation of Sweet Pastries

For a beautiful presentation, a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream can make a world of difference. These small touches add an extra layer of flavor and make your pastries visually appealing.

Shortcrust Pastry For Savoury Dishes:

This recipe is not limited to sweet treats; it’s fantastic for savory pies and tarts too. I’ll guide you through simple modifications to make it suitable for savory dishes.

Ingredients for Savoury Pastry

The base ingredients – flour, butter, salt, and water – are the same. But for a savory twist, try adding a pinch of dried herbs like thyme or rosemary. These small additions can elevate the flavor of your savory pastry.

Savoury Filling Ideas

I’ll suggest a variety of fillings for your savory pastries. Think classic combinations like cheese and onion or something heartier like beef and mushroom. These fillings are easy to prepare and complement the flaky pastry perfectly.

Baking Savoury Pastry

For baking, keep the oven preheated to 375°F (190°C). A golden rule for savory pastries: bake until the crust is golden brown, which usually takes about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your pastry.

Serving Savoury Pastries

Serve these savory pastries warm. They pair wonderfully with a fresh salad or a light soup, making a complete and satisfying meal.

Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Shortcrust Pastry

Here are some tips and tricks that will help you make the perfect shortcrust pastry every time:

  • Use cold butter and water for better results. Cold butter will make the pastry more elastic and less sticky, while cold water will prevent the dough from becoming too dry and crumbly.
  • Do not overwork the dough. Overworking the dough will make it tough and difficult to roll out while underworking it will make it too soft and sticky.
  • Chill your dough well before rolling it out. Chilling your dough will help it relax and become more pliable while rolling it out will help it develop a flaky texture.
  • Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut out circles from your dough. A sharp knife or a pizza cutter will create clean and even edges, while a dull one will tear or rip your dough.
  • Prick your pastry with a fork before baking. Pricking your pastry with a fork will prevent it from puffing up when baked while leaving it unpricked will cause it to rise and become soggy.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

You can serve your shortcrust pastry with any kind of filling that you like.

Some common examples are:

  • For quiche: eggs (beaten) and cream (whipped)
  • For meat pie: cooked meat (chopped), vegetables (sliced), gravy (made), etc.
  • For apple pie: apples (peeled), sugar (sliced), cinnamon (ground), etc.

You can also serve your shortcrust pastry with some whipped cream or ice cream on top for extra indulgence.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Here are some pro tips that will help you make the perfect shortcrust pastry every time:

  • Use cold butter and water for better results. Cold butter will make the pastry more elastic and less sticky, while cold water will prevent the dough from becoming too dry and crumbly.
  • Do not overwork the dough. Overworking the dough will make it tough and difficult to roll out while underworking it will make it too soft and sticky.
  • Chill your dough well before rolling it out. Chilling your dough will help it relax and become more pliable while rolling it out will help it develop a flaky texture.
  • Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut out circles from your dough. A sharp knife or a pizza cutter will create clean and even edges, while a dull one will tear or rip your dough.
  • Prick your pastry with a fork before baking. Pricking your pastry with a fork will prevent it from puffing up when baked while leaving it unpricked will cause it to rise and become soggy.

Final Words

Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry recipe is one of the most popular and easy recipes for making delicious pies and tarts at home. You can use this recipe for various fillings, such as fruit, custard, cheese, meat, or vegetables.

By following this guide, you will be able to make your own shortcrust pastry in no time with just four ingredients: flour, butter, salt, and water. You will also learn how to roll out, chill, and use your shortcrust pastry for different types of pies and tarts.

We hope you enjoy this recipe and have fun baking with Mary Berry’s shortcrust pastry!

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Notes

Calories: 300 kcal Best Season: Summer

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