10 steps to a perfect shortcrust pastry case

Perfect tarts and pies are easier to make than you think! Learn how to make perfect shortcrust pastry and find tips on how to line a case with our easy step-by-step guide.

Plus, check out our handy video to find out how to make shortcrust pastry both by hand and in a food processor.

10 steps to a perfect shortcrust pastry case

A basic recipe for shortcrust pastry


  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium egg yolk


  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Add the butter to the flour, then rub everything together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg yolk and 1 teaspoon cold water. Mix it in with your hands, squeezing the crumbs together with your fingers. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  3. Turn the dough onto a sheet of baking paper and shape it into a ball. Top cooks wrap the pastry in cling film and chill it for 20 minutes before rolling, but if you haven’t the time, just roll it as suggested in the recipes and chill for about 15 minutes before cooking. This makes the shortcrust pastry light in texture and less likely to shrink during cooking.

Take a look at our handy video:

How to make a shortcrust pastry case

  1. Work the pastry as little as possible with your hands or it can become tough.
  2. Chill the pastry before rolling – if the butter melts and the pastry softens, rolling it can overdevelop the gluten.
  3. Lightly dust the work surface, the pastry and the rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking as you roll out.

  4. Turn the pastry 45 degrees clockwise after each roll to give an even round shape and ensure it doesn’t stick.
  5. Use a flour-dusted rolling pin to lift the pastry and ease it over the tin.

  6. Avoid stretching the pastry as you line the tin, which can lead to shrinkage when the pastry bakes.
  7. Use a ball of excess pastry dipped in flour to push the pastry into the corners of the tin – fingers can leave marks and fingernails can tear the pastry.

  8. Use a rolling pin to trim off excess pastry – roll it over the edges of the tin, moving away from the centre of the tin.
  9. Chill again, line with crumpled baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice, then blind bake on a hot baking sheet.

  10. The pastry case is cooked when there are no greyish raw patches and the surface feels sandy to the touch.

Now you’ve nailed the perfect shortcrust pastry case, it’s time to make the filling! Check out our sweet and savoury tart recipes or why not try your hand at one of our fantastic pies


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