Homemade sweet shortcrust pastry
Ideal for sweet pies and desserts.
- 225 g plain flour, sieved
- 50 g icing sugar
- 115 g cold butter, cut into small chunks
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 large free range egg, beaten
- Splash of milk
- Sieve the flour from a height over a clean work surface
- Repeat with the icing sugar
- Rub the butter into the flour with cold hand, using the tips of your fingers, until the mixture is like breadcrumbs.
- Add your lemon zest or any other flavouring you may be using
- Now add the egg and a tiny splash of milk and combine until you have a ball of dough. Don't overwork the pastry here of you won't get a crumbly pastry
- Keep adding the milk until you can form the mixture into a ball, which will hold together, but not be sticky
- Wrap in cling-film and place in the fridge for half-an-hour before use.
- This can be made in a food processor, in which case process the flour, sugar, egg and butter together, using the pulse setting. Slowly add the milk and the mixture should automatically form itself into a ball when enough milk has been added. Do not over-process though, as it will make the mixture too warm.
Once the pastry has rested in the fridge, roll it out according to your recipe's instructions and add the other ingredients. However, I always put it back in the fridge at this stage for a further 30 minutes, before I put it into the pre-heated oven. I do this even with ready-made pastry.