How to make Sweet Shortcrust Pastry at home

The June Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addictand Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a Bakewell Tart… er… pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

I have been waiting for 3 weeks to tell you about this!!
I wish I had a piece right now…

I just got home from a wedding and realized its past midnight, which means its June 27th. Daring Bakers posting date! I have made this twice this month, it is so great and I have been so excited to share.

This is something I wouldn’t normally make. I typically don’t make tarts, I normally don’t use jam on anything except toast and almond frangipane is something I haven’t made since culinary school. But this was fantastic. The crust was buttery and perfect. I used apricot jam and mixed in some vanilla bean paste and the thin layer was bursting with flavor. And lastly the perfect almond frangipane was moist yet airy at the same time. This UK traditional dessert is now a favorite of mine and many other Daring Bakers, maybe it will become a US dessert as well!

You will need one cup jam. Home made or store bought. I used smuckers apricot jam and strained it to make sure it was perfectly smooth and whisked in vanilla bean.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

This recipe calls for a mixture of butter and flour that's almost a 2:1 ratio. While this might seem like a sensible ratio, it can be a bit crumbly if you're not careful. This recipe is also very sweet, and uses nuts in its pastry. Regardless of the sweet taste, you'll love the result of this pastry. In addition, it's incredibly easy to make and will turn out deliciously.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 342 kcal


  • 8 oz all purpose flour
  • 1 oz sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter cold (frozen is better)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ tsp almond extract optional
  • 1-2 Tbsp cold water

Almond Frangipane

  • 4.5 oz unsalted butter softened
  • 4.5 oz powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp almond extract
  • 4.5 oz ground almonds
  • 1 oz all purpose flour


  • Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
  • Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form a cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
  • Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Almond Frangipane

  • Cream butter and sugar together for about a minute or until the mixture is primrose in colour and very fluffy. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter may appear to curdle. In the words of Douglas Adams: Don’t panic. Really. It’ll be fine. After all three are in, pour in the almond extract and mix for about another 30 seconds and scrape down the sides again. With the beaters on, spoon in the ground nuts and the flour. Mix well. The mixture will be soft, keep its slightly curdled look (mostly from the almonds) and retain its pallid yellow colour.

Assembling the tart

  • Place the chilled dough disc on a lightly floured surface. If it’s overly cold, you will need to let it soften for about 15 minutes before you roll it out. Flour the rolling pin and roll the pastry to 1/4” thickness, by rolling in one direction only (start from the center and roll away from you), and turning the disc a quarter turn after each roll. When the pastry is to the desired size and thickness, transfer it to the tart pan, press in and trim the excess dough. Patch any holes, fissures or tears with trimmed bits. Chill in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Remove shell from freezer, spread as even a layer as you can of jam onto the pastry base. Top with frangipane, spreading to cover the entire surface of the tart. Smooth the top and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
  • The finished tart will have a golden crust and the frangipane will be tanned, poofy and a bit spongy-looking. Remove from the oven and cool on the counter. When you slice into the tart, the almond paste will be firm, but slightly squidgy and the crust should be crisp but not tough.



You can even use a pastry bag to make a whipped shortcrust pastry.
Keyword cake, pastry
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How to Make Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

Sweet Short Dough Pastry Recipe (for Tarts and Pies)

Pate sablee is a sweetened shortcrust pastry

For those who prefer a sweet shortcrust pastry, Pate Sablee is the perfect solution. The dough used in the pastry is called 1-2-3 dough, and the proportions are 1 part fat to 2 parts sugar and 3 parts flour. Hence, the dough must be kept cool to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin and breaking in the oven. Hence, it is very important to keep a close eye on the temperature of the dough during the entire pastry-making process.

The basic ingredients in the dough are flour, sugar, butter, egg, and salt. You can spice the dough with different spices or extracts to give it a unique flavor. Ground ginger, coconut, or cocoa powder work well for winter tarts. Lemon extract is also commonly used to enhance the taste of this pastry.

Nuts are used in this type of pastry

How to perfect shortcrust pastry | Australia's Best Recipes

Shortcrust pastry is a common dessert made from butter and sugar. It is made crisp by replacing part of the flour with ground almonds. The weight of the almonds and flour combined is more than the weight of butter and sugar, which makes the pastry crisp. The shortcrust pastry is enriched with ground nuts and a pinch of yeast. It can also be made using a food processor.

Shortcrust pastry is often made with butter and sugar in equal proportions. In addition to those, eggs are added in a 1:10 ratio. To make this pastry, the butter and sugar should be soft. You can also add vanilla bean seeds and lemon zest to it. This pastry is perfect for making tart confections. You can even use a pastry bag to make a whipped shortcrust pastry.

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Keeping the butter cool

Strawberry & Champagne Truffle Tarts - Charlotte's Lively Kitchen

Many purists recommend working on a marble slab to keep the butter cold when making pastry. This practice is crucial to achieving a flakier pastry. While a warm kitchen will allow the butter to melt, a cold kitchen will prevent it from doing so. The butter can become oily when heated, which will make it hard to roll out and will make the pastry crumbly. By keeping the butter cool, you will create a more flaky pastry and a more aesthetically pleasing pie.

If you prefer, you can use a food processor to make the pastry. Be sure to avoid making it too fine. You can use a food processor to keep the crumbs bigger than they are. It will prevent the pastry from over-mixing and will allow you to control the moisture. The pastry will stay fresh for up to 2 days if it is stored in the fridge. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Blind baking

Sweet shortcrust pastry recipe | BBC Good Food

Pre-baking is a great way to ensure the pastry is cooked through before the filling sets. This technique is also known as blind baking and is used in many tart recipes. First, chill the pastry case in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm it up. Next, preheat the oven to 425°F. When the pastry is cool, fill it with your favorite sweet filling and bake it as directed.

Puff pastry is a great alternative for tarts or pies. It contains half the amount of fat as flour and is used to make pie dough. The difference is in the butter content. The butter will prevent the pastry from sticking to the baking pan. Before blind baking, line your pastry tin with non-stick baking paper and fill it with baking weights. Pre-heating the tin will help the pastry cook more evenly.

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Flaky crust

A sweet shortcrust pastry is the ideal choice for tarts, pies, and cookies. The dough is easy to prepare, and can be used for any type of sweet filling, including cookies. It is important to chill the dough well before using it, as over-processing it will develop gluten and create a cracker-like texture. After the dough has been chilled for at least 60 minutes, it can be refrigerated or frozen for up to two days.

Make sure the butter and water are cold before adding them to the dough. A cold pastry will have a flakier crust when baked. Also, avoid adding too much lemon juice, as this will make the pastry hard to handle. Then, add just enough water to make the dough pliable, but not wet. If the dough is too hard, use a heavy rolling pin to make it pliable.