Sweet Short Crust Pastry
Following recipes word for word has been one of my weaknesses in life. However I love to add my own twist and take on recipes, I suppose it’s all part of the excitement. But when it comes to making pastry there is a golden rule that one should not mess with the recipe, as a disaster is most likely to happen. This sweet short crust pastry recipe is one of those little gems that I know I can rely on and comes out perfect everytime. This recipe has been with me for years ever since I became a commis chef.
I have to confess that I’ve been slightly naughty by ignoring the golden rule just a teeny-weeny bit, by adding vanilla seeds, fresh orange, lime or lemon zest when having a specific idea in mind. If you add small quantities and do not over do it the recipe will be perfectly delicious and fine.
I always make more than needed, freeze it on the day in 240g blocks. This can be very handy when you need to make something spectacular at short notice. Another tip is to keep the trimmings and reroll them so you can save a few pennies.
- 460g plain all purpose flour
- 280g good quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 120g unrefined caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out (optional)
Weigh the softened butter, salt, sugar and vanilla seeds in to the bowl of a mixer, use the flat paddle attachment and cream the sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in colour.
Crack the eggs into a small bowl and lightly whisk. Slowly add the eggs a bit at a time to the butter mixture, mix well.
Remove the mixing bowl and sieve the flour over the creamed butter, return to the mixer with the paddle, slowly mix the flour into the butter, do not over mix. Once the pastry comes together stop.
Turn the pastry out on to a lightly floured work surface, divide the pastry in appropriate sizes, do not kneed the pastry, just push it together in to flat squares.
This recipe makes approximately 4 x 240g blocks. Cover each piece with clingfilm and make it airtight. I like to make them as flat , square and even sizes so that they fit comfortably in to my freezer, nice and tidy.
Food Fanatics Tips
The secret to this recipe is to not over work the pastry, work quick and rest the pastry for at least 30 minutes before using. Remove the pastry at least 30 minutes from the fridge before using, this will help the pastry to soften slightly and prevent you from stretching the pastry when rolling.