Short Crust

Short crust is used to make pies and tarts. It is slightly different than a basic flaky crust in that it is lighter and crispier. It is more tender and crumbles easier when eaten. It can be made with a mixture of fats, such as butter, margarine, and shortening, but the total amount of fat should be 1 part to 2 parts flour. More fat can be added for a richer taste but it will also make the dough harder to work with. The amount of fat used in short crusts is generally in higher proportion than what is in a flaky crust. A basic recipe and instructions for short crust are shown below.


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening (chilled)
  1/4 cup cold butter or margarine (cut into cubes)
4 to 5 tbsp. ice water

Mixing the Ingredients

  1. Mix flour and salt.
  2. Add shortening and butter (or margarine) to flour. Rub fat into flour by picking cubes up with thumb and fingertips of both hands. Rub flour and fat together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time and mix with a rounded end table knife. Stir briskly and add water until dough is just moist enough to stick together. Check by picking up a small amount and pinching, if it sticks, no more water should be added.
  4. Gather the dough together, gently press into a ball.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before rolling out.

After the dough has been chilled it can be rolled out in the same manner as a flaky pie crust. See Single Pie Crust - Rolling the Pie Crust for instructions. Rolling out the dough will work best if the work surface is cool. Cool the work surface by placing a bag of ice on the work surface before rolling the dough.


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