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baked pastry shell on a wire cooling rack

Flaky Shortcrust Pastry

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 lb 14 oz (850g) 1x


Discouraged by failed pie crust?  Don’t worry; this flaky shortcrust pastry is just what you’re looking for.  It’s a simple pie crust made by hand with lemon juice, lard, and butter for lots of flakiness and flavor.  Use this versatile recipes for savory pies and quiches, or sweet desserts like apple pie.


  • 4 1/8 cups all-purpose flour (500g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 10 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled (150g)
  • 1/2 cup lard, chilled or at room temperature (125g)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or distilled white vinegar (5 ml)
  • 1/3 cup ice water (80 ml)


  1. Dump the flour into a mixing bowl and add the cold butter, lard, and salt.  Rub the fats into the flour by pinching them with your fingertips.  Continue this process until most of the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, but some larger clumps of fat still remain.
  2. Pour in the lemon juice, and add 1 tablespoon of ice water.  Mix with your fingers until the dough starts to come together, then add another tablespoon of ice water.  Continue to add water, just a little at a time until all the flour has been picked up and the dough has come together.  The dough should not be sticky.
  3. Turn the dough onto a clean surface.  Blend the fat and flour together by flattening down the dough with the palm of your hand several times.  This is called fraisage.
  4. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour before using.  If the dough is very hard when you try to roll it out, give the pastry several hard bashes with a heavy rolling pin to soften it.


  • Always measure the solid ingredients with a kitchen scale.  This is by far the easiest and fastest method of measuring solid ingredients.  It saves dishes and makes your life easier, plus ensuring an accurate measurement every time.
  • If you must use measuring cups, use them properly.  Flour should always be spooned into the cup, and the excess should be swept off with a knife.  Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup.
  • Use cold ingredients.  Cold ingredients are a necessity for flaky results.
  • Chill before rolling it out.  An hour in the fridge is the perfect time to harden the fats and help it not stick.  Cold dough will be flakier when it bakes.
  • Is your cold pastry as hard as a rock?  Soften it quickly by giving it several hard bashes with a heavy rolling pin.  Flip the dough over and repeat until it's soft enough to roll out.
  • Category: Pies
  • Method: Chilled
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: shortcrust pastry with lard, shortcrust pastry for quiche, shortcrust pastry tarts