Shortcrust Pastry

There are some ready-made versions which are dairy-free, but if you have a food processor pastry is so easy that there is really no excuse. Without the processor it takes longer, but tastes exactly the same.

For making pastry you need cold ingredients. It does work with dairy-free spread, but the texture can be more difficult to perfect because of the softness of the spread.

Recipe: Shortcrust Pastry

Summary: Shortcrust pastry for pies, pasties and treats


  • 8oz / 225g plain flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2oz / 50g lard, diced
  • 2oz / 50g hard margarine, diced
  • a small amount of very cold water


In a processor

  1. Put the flour, salt, lard and margarine into the processor and “whizz” on high speed for 8 seconds. Do not allow yourself to lose track of how long this stage has been “whizzing” or you will have tough pastry. Guaranteed: been there, done that! You want to catch it just as it has turned into “breadcrumbs” and stop the machine.
  2. Put the machine on slow and trickle in a tablespoonful of cold water while the motor is running. Let it mix briefly, watching the consistency. Add a little more, pausing after each addition to allow it to be blended in. You will see the pastry start to clump together and begin to form a ball. As it does so, switch off and tip out the pastry onto a floured surface. Bring the pastry together with your hands. If it is still very crumbly and dry, add a small amount more water, but beware of making it sticky.
  3. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This makes it much easier to roll out.

By hand

  1. Blend the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold, diced lard and margarine. Rub in the fat with your fingers until the texture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add some of the water in very small quantities and cut it in with a knife at first, then with your hands. Beware of adding too much water. The pastry should be just tacky enough to leave the bowl pretty clean, but you don’t want it sticky.
  3. Leave to rest as above.


This also works well with 81% Stone Ground flour. You will need to add slightly more water to make it bind and you have to accept that it is fragile, so handle with care as it will crumble very easily and will not stretch in the way that white flour does.

Preparation time (duration): 5 minutes

Diet type: dairy free

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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