Simple Sweet Pastry

Simple Sweet Pastry Recipe

The Spruce Eats / Elaine Lemm

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 1 tart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
227 Calories
12g Fat
25g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 227
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 8g 38%
Cholesterol 54mg 18%
Sodium 102mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 25g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 45mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Basic shortcrust pastry, also referred to as pie dough or pie pastry, is the easiest pastry to make. It is a versatile one, suitable for sweet or savory dishes. Sometimes, however, a sweet pastry is needed, especially for desserts and sweet pies as it adds extra flavor and depth. To make a pastry recipe sweet, you need some sugar, and this rich shortcrust recipe has an egg, too. Use this pastry in any tart recipe that is sweet, without overwhelming the final dish.

When you're putting this dough together, it may at first seem a little sticky. As with any pastry recipe, handling the dough as gently and as little as possible keeps it from being tough. And resting and chilling the dough is the key to success; it helps the pastry keep its shape during baking.

This recipe will make enough for approximately one 7 to 8-inch tart. A pastry calculator can help you determine if you need to scale this recipe up or down, depending on your recipe. Try this recipe in a Bakewell tart, a baked egg custard tart, or Yorkshire curd tart recipe.


  • 8 ounces (225 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup/110 grams) unsalted butter, cubed, or an equal mix of butter and lard

  • 2 tablespoons fine sugar, or caster sugar

  • 1 large free-range egg

  • 1 splash milk, for binding

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

  2. Place the flour, butter, and sugar into a large clean bowl.

  3. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, working as quickly as possible to prevent the dough from becoming warm.

  4. Add the egg to the mixture and, using a cold knife, stir until the dough binds together. Add milk a teaspoon at a time if the mixture is too dry.

  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes. This helps the pastry to rest. You can also roll the pastry and then rest it in the fridge. Bake as directed in your recipe.


Roll the dough out and chill it in between pieces of parchment or wax paper. This makes it easier to press into the pan when you're ready to bake.

Bring the dough to room temperature before handling.

Recipe Variations

Use equal quantities of all-purpose flour and cake flour for a lighter pastry.

The dough can also be made in a food processor by mixing the flour, butter, and salt in the bowl of the processor. Just pulse it together slowly so as to not overwork the dough. When the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, slowly add water through the funnel until the dough comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill as directed above.

How to Store Pastry Crust

Sweet pastry crust takes well to blind baking if you want to prep it ahead of time. Make and bake the crust, then cover it and refrigerate until you're ready to use it. You can also make extra crusts and freeze them, which means a lovely dessert can come together at a moment's notice.

What is the difference between pie crust and shortcrust?

There is no difference. Shortcrust pastry is by definition made with half the amount of fat as flour, and it's the same thing as pie dough. This recipe, however, is different because of the addition of egg and sugar; in some pie crust recipes, sugar is optional.

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