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Disc of shortcrust pastry on white surface

How to make Shortcrust Pastry

The perfect shortcrust pastry or pie crust is not hard to make if you follow the step-by-step recipe in this post. Only 3 ingredients (not counting water).

  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie crust


  • Ice Water
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (225g) unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, optional (for sweet pies)


  1. Put ice 4 or 5 ice cubes in a measuring cup and fill with cold water to about a cup.
  2. In a food processor put flour and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse using on/off until the butter is the size of peas.
  3. Add about ½ cup of ice water and pulse a few times.
  4. Add ¼ cup more ice water and pulse until it barely comes together. Check the dough. Even though it's crumbly and dry, if you take some and squeeze it with your hand, it should come together. If it doesn't come together add a few more tablespoons water.
  5. Transfer dough to a barely floured surface and gather it together into a ball. Don't overwork it or the dough will be tough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or up to 3 days.

Lining the pan:

  1. When you're ready to use it, roll it on a lightly floured surface, starting from the middle and making sure the size is at least 1 inch bigger than the pan you're using.
  2. Carefully place in the ungreased pie pan. Trim edges, prick the surface and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for half an hour.


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC
  2. Put foil and weights (I use dried beans) covering the dough surface and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Lift foil and weights and continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until it's dry and starting to color.


  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier!
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Don't overwork the dough: for tender crusts, you need to work them as little as possible but integrate the ingredients very well. A food processor or pastry blender and scraper (if making it by hand in a bowl) can help with the first step, where the cold butter is mixed with the flour.
  • Resting time: is essential if you want the pie dough to roll easily and be tender and crisp after it's baked. The resting time allows it to relax, making it easier to roll without stretching.
  • Make ahead: you can keep it in the fridge for 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month. Always well wrapped to prevent dryness.
  • Additional details: the post above details every step needed to make a great shortcrust pastry or pie crust. So you might want to refer to it.
  • Video recipe: Watch videos for Making pie dough and Rolling and lining pie dough.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Resting time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Pies & Tarts
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: International


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 352
  • Sugar: 1.7 g
  • Sodium: 149.3 mg
  • Fat: 23.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.4 g
  • Fiber: 1.1 g
  • Protein: 4.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 61 mg

Keywords: shortcrust pastry, pie crust