Mastering Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe: A Versatile Recipe for Sweet and Savory Delights

In the world of baking, few things compare to the satisfaction of mastering the art of pastry. Mary Berry’s Shortcrust Pastry, in particular, is one I’ve revisited time and again in my culinary journey. It’s buttery, flaky, and provides the ideal base for both sweet and savory delights. Learning from Mary, I came to appreciate the balance of simplicity and technique that goes into this seemingly basic dough. Today, I’m thrilled to share this treasured recipe with you, allowing you to experience the magic of a perfect shortcrust. Let’s embark on this pastry adventure together.

How to Make Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry Recipe Overview:

This Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry recipe is incredibly versatile and yields enough for a 9-inch pie or tart. It takes just a few minutes to prepare. You’ll need to chill it for at least 30 minutes before use. Once you have this pastry ready, you can whip up a variety of sweet and savory dishes. The total time investment, including chilling, is approximately 1 hour.

Tools and Equipment:

Mixing Bowl: A large mixing bowl to combine the ingredients.

Food Processor: You can use  a food processor to blend the butter and flour.

Plastic Wrap: For wrapping the pastry dough for chilling.

Rolling Pin: To roll out the pastry.

9-inch Pie or Tart Pan: The vessel for your delicious creations.

Baking Beans or Pie Weights: To weigh down the pastry during blind baking.

Baking Paper: To line the pastry crust while blind baking.

Ingredients:

  • 150g (5.25 oz) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 300g (10.5 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Take a mixing bowl and start sifting the flour and salt into your bowl. Add the butter (Cold, cubed).
  2. Blend the butter into the flour by using a food processor. Keep blending until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 
  3. Gradually add cold water , one tablespoon at a time. Keep mixing until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overwork it. You want a smooth dough, not a sticky one.
  4. Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap. Now keep it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This chilling step is essential to prevent the pastry from shrinking during baking.
  5. Preheat your oven to 200°C .
  6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit your 9-inch pie pan. You can also use a tart pan.
  7. Carefully line the pan with the pastry. Trim any excess pastry. Prick the base with a fork and line it with baking paper and baking beans.
  8. Blind bake the pastry for 15 minutes. Then remove the baking paper. Now weigh and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Bake until it turns a light golden brown.
  9. Your Mary Berry Shortcrust Pastry is now ready to be used in your favorite sweet or savory recipes!

Also Try: Mary Berry’s Classic Bakewell Tart Recipe: A Timeless British Dessert

Nutritional Value (per serving):

Calories: 235 kcal

Carbohydrates: 19g

Fat: 17g

Protein: 2g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 0g

Sodium: 72mg

Variations of Shortcrust Pastry:

Shortcrust pastry has a buttery and flaky texture. This kind of texture serves as the foundation for a wide range of delectable dishes. Some of the varieties of shortcrust pastry are mentioned below :

Traditional Shortcrust Pastry: The classic shortcrust pastry is made of flour, butter, a pinch of salt and cold water. It’s the go-to choice for many sweet and savory pies and quiches.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry: To create a sweeter version, simply add a bit of sugar to the traditional recipe. Sweet shortcrust pastry is perfect for desserts like fruit pies and tarts.

Savory Shortcrust Pastry: For savory dishes, you can omit the sugar.  You can also add herbs or spices to the pastry . Savory shortcrust pastry is an excellent choice for making savory pies and quiches.

Whole Wheat Shortcrust Pastry: To make a healthier version, substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. This adds a nutty flavor and a slightly denser texture while retaining the flakiness of traditional shortcrust pastry.

Gluten-Free Shortcrust Pastry: Those with gluten sensitivities can enjoy shortcrust pastry too. Use a gluten-free flour blend to create the pastry.

Almond Shortcrust Pastry: Add ground almonds to the dough for a delightful almond flavor and a slight crunch. Almond shortcrust pastry pairs beautifully with fruit-based tarts and pies.

Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry: To infuse your pastry with a rich chocolatey flavor, mix in cocoa powder and a touch of sugar. This is a fantastic choice for chocolate tart shells or as a base for chocolate cream pies.

Citrus Shortcrust Pastry: Zest from citrus fruits like lemon, orange, or lime can be added to the pastry for a refreshing twist. This citrusy shortcrust is perfect for lemon meringue pies or other citrus-flavored desserts.

Spiced Shortcrust Pastry: Incorporate warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger to give your pastry a cozy, aromatic touch. Spiced shortcrust is a great choice for seasonal pies and tarts.

Cheese Shortcrust Pastry: For a savory and cheesy flavor, mix grated cheese into the dough. This type of pastry pairs wonderfully with quiches and savory pies.

FAQs:

Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted?

Yes, you can, but adjust the salt accordingly or omit it.

Can I make this pastry in advance?

Absolutely! You can prepare the pastry ahead of time. Store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

Do I have to blind bake the pastry?

For certain recipes, like quiches or tarts with wet fillings, blind baking helps prevent a soggy bottom. However, for some pies, it’s not necessary.

Can I substitute water with milk for a richer pastry?

Yes, you can use cold milk instead of water for a slightly richer flavor and texture.

Can I make this pastry gluten-free?

You can use gluten free flour to make this recipe gluten free.

Conclusion:

Mary Berry’s Shortcrust Pastry is a game-changer in the kitchen, offering endless possibilities for both sweet and savory creations. With a flaky, buttery crust as your canvas, you’ll be whipping up scrumptious pies, quiches, and tarts in no time. So go ahead, give it a try, and unlock a world of tasty treats that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy!

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