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Sweet pastry

Sarah Horrocks
by Sarah Horrocks Published on 12 March 2008

Sweet, crunchy pastry makes delicious strawberry tarts, fruit pies and cream pastries that remind us of our childhood! It's child's play to make, too. Here are our rules, recipes and tips for perfect pastry every time.

See all our sweet pastry recipes

Basic sweet pastry recipe

- 250g flour
- 125g butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 125g sugar
- Salt

Mix the butter and sugar together using a wooden spoon, into a paste. Add the egg and mix vigorously. Add the flour and salt, then use your hands to make into a ball of dough.

Tip: to prevent the butter from melting, make sure that the room temperatue isn't too hot! Make a ball with the dough, wrap in cling film then put it in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Butter

Never melt the butter before mixing it with the sugar, it should be soft and that’s all.

Order

Follow the order when adding ingredients!

Don't over-knead your pastry

Flour becomes gluten upon contact with heat and moisture, which makes the dough elastic (absolutely necessary to make bread, but not good for sweet pastry).

Sugar

The bigger the sugar grains, the crispier the dough. Dough made with icing sugar will be finer, more crumbly and silkier in texture.

Set aside time

Keep the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes and then for 10 minutes at room temperature before rolling it. Make sure your oven is hot before you take it out of the fridge and roll.

Cooking the pastry base on its own

Cook for 20 minutes at 180°C and garnish when cool (this is good for chocolate tarts and fresh fruit cream pies and tarts).

Cooking with garnish

Monitor carefully to stop the edges browning too fast.

Preservation

48 hours in the fridge or frozen (in a block or rolled out and wrapped).

Sweet pastry with powdered almonds
- 250g flour
- 125g butter (at room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 80g of sugar
- 40g of powdered almonds
- Salt

Work the soft butter and icing sugar together using a wooden spoon. Add the powdered almonds and egg and mix vigorously. Add the flour and salt and mix together quickly by hand. Make a ball, wrap in cling film and keep in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Flavour sweet pastry with:
- Cocoa for banana or pear tart, or coffee mousse;
- Vanilla extract, for any sweet tart or pie;
- Coffee for chocolate tarts;
- Bitter almond for amandine, apricot, cherry or raspberry tarts;
- Orange flower water for a strawberry, plum or almond tart;
- Rum for fruit tarts;
- Thyme or basil for apricot, strawberry or melon tarts.

More recipe ideas:
Bitter chocolate tart
Fig tart
Almond and apricot tart
Lemon meringue pie

by Sarah Horrocks

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