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 use.

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:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  • Add the cold butter cubes and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Gradually add cold water while stirring with a fork until the dough comes together.
  • Shape the dough into a disc shape using your hands or a rolling pin.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a ziplock bag.
  • 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: Explore fillings from traditional apple and cinnamon to rich chocolate or creamy custard.
  • Baking Tips: Maintain the oven temperature at 375°F (190°C). Bake until the edges begin to turn golden for optimal texture.
  • Presentation Tips: Enhance your sweet pastries with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream for visual appeal and added flavor.

Shortcrust Pastry For Savoury Dishes:

The same base ingredients work beautifully for savory recipes—just add a pinch of dried herbs like thyme or rosemary for a flavor boost.

  • Savory Filling Ideas: Try cheese and onion, or a robust beef and mushroom combination.
  • Baking Savory Pastries: Bake at the same temperature until the crust turns golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes.
  • Serving Savory Pastries: Serve warm with a fresh salad or light soup for a satisfying meal.

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry

Mary Berry’s versatile shortcrust pastry complements a variety of dishes. Whether you’re planning a sweet dessert or a savory meal, here are some delightful pairings:

  • Fresh Fruit Compote: Serve your pastry with a side of fresh fruit compote for a refreshing contrast to the rich, buttery crust.
  • Whipped Cream or Ice Cream: Top a slice of sweet pie made with this pastry with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
  • Savory Quiche Accompaniments: Pair a savory quiche with a fresh green salad dressed in a light vinaigrette to balance the richness.
  • Custard: For a classic British dessert, fill the pastry with custard and serve with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top.
  • Chutney and Relishes: Serve meat-filled pies with chutney or relish to add a tangy twist that enhances the flavors.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Accompany a vegetable tart with roasted vegetables for a hearty and satisfying meal.

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:

  • Keep Ingredients Cold: The secret to a flaky crust is cold butter. Make sure your butter and water are chilled before use to prevent the fat from melting before baking.
  • Don’t Overwork the Dough: Mix the dough just until it comes together. Overworking it can develop the gluten in the flour, leading to a tough pastry rather than a tender, crumbly one.
  • Use the Right Technique: When combining the butter with the flour, rub the mixture with your fingertips, lifting it as you go. This technique helps incorporate air, which is key to achieving lightness in the pastry.
  • Chill Before Rolling: After forming your dough into a disc, refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. This step solidifies the fat and relaxes the gluten, making the dough easier to roll and less likely to shrink during baking.
  • Roll Evenly: Ensure your pastry rolls out evenly to avoid thin spots that could lead to tears or uneven baking. Aim for about 1/4 inch thickness for a consistent bake.
  • Keep Everything Light: Avoid pressing down too hard with the rolling pin, which can compact the dough. Gentle, even pressure will yield the best texture.
  • Blind Baking: If your recipe calls for a pre-baked crust, don’t skip the blind baking process. Use parchment paper and baking beans to prevent the base from puffing up. This step is crucial for pies with wet fillings.

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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Calories: 300 kcal Best Season: Summer

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