Shortcrust Pastry

Super easy to make shortcrust pastry recipe that can be used for any sweet and savory pies and tarts. The shortcrust pastry (also referred to as the pâte brisée) is typically 50% butter (any sort of oil or fat) to the amount of flour, so it has a higher flour ratio (less fat) compared to a pie crust. I am using yogurt/sour cream instead of ice water in this shortcrust pastry recipe to give it extra flavor. So easy to make - really do not have to buy pastry crust from the store if there is enough preparation time.

The shortcrust pastry is good for apple pies, pumpkin pies, quiches, and savory meat pie because it does not soak up the liquids for the fillings it is able to stay crispy. And often used in Portuguese Egg tarts.

Rolled out whole wheat shortcrust pastry
Rolled out whole wheat shortcrust pastry.


  • 125 grams (1/2 cup) cold diced unsalted butter
  • 250 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour (optional: substitute 1/4 with whole wheat flour)
  • 20 grams (1 1/2 tablespoon) cane sugar*
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) milk or cold water
  • 1/2 lemon zest (optional for sweet fillings)
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) yogurt or sour cream (traditionally - ice water)
  • pinch of salt

*Reduce or eliminate sugar for savory fillings.

Steps for the shortcrust pastry:

  1. In a bowl put flour and cold diced butter and incorporate the butter into the flour by lightly rub the butter into the flour until it becomes a breadcrumb-like consistency. Then add in the salt and sugar. The whole process can be done in a food processor.
  2. Next, add in the yogurt/sour cream and the lemon zest and mix, the dough should start to together. If the dough is still crumbly add in cold water or milk one tablespoon at a time until the dough forms into a ball.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes before use.
  4. The pastry can be kept in the freezer for later use, it will keep for 3-4 weeks. To use frozen pastry, just defrost the pastry until it is soft enough to roll out.
  5. The recipe is enough to cover a 9' or 25 cm pie or tart pan.

Steps for preparing a pie crust with Shortcrust pastry:

  • Need: Rolling pin, parchment paper, and pie pan (9' or 25 cm).
Shortcrust pastry into pie or tart Shell
Pie, Tart Shell - Shortcrust Pastry
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper on a working surface to roll out the shortcrust pastry.
  3. Take the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and lightly sprinkle flour over the dough. Then stretch out the wrap to place it over the dough. Then place the whole thing, with the wrap on the top, on the parchment paper, and roll out the dough. This way the plastic wrap and the parchment paper will prevent the dough from sticking to the working surface and the rolling pin.
  4. Roll the dough into a circle with a diameter a few inches wider than the pie pan. Peel the wrap and place the pie pan upside down on the center of the dough.
  5. Put your hand under the parchment paper and flip over the pan. Then adjust the dough to fit the pan and then peel off the parchment paper, cut away access dough, and shape the edges.
  6. Use a fork and poke holes on the bottom of the dough to prevent the crust from bubbling up when baking.
  7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes and cool on a rack.
  8. Once cooled the shortcrust is ready for different fillings!

Guava and Cream Cheese Pastry
Guava and Cream Cheese Pastry using the Shortcrust Pastry