Have you ever wondered how to get that mouthwatering flaky shortcrust pastry? There’s a few tips on how to do this. First, use lard as one of the fats in the pastry. Lard adds flakiness, while butter provides a good flavor. Make sure the pastry still has chunks of fat in it when you’re done rubbing the fat and flour together. These pieces of fat will melt in the oven, creating a lovely flake. Some people say that adding a small amount of a strong acid, like lemon juice or vinegar, will inhibit gluten formation in the pastry, therefore increasing the flakiness. Don’t be generous with the lemon juice, though, or your pastry will taste sour! 😝 All this might sound complicated, but the process is pretty simple. With the photos below, you’ll be able to master this!
Another plus to this recipe is that it makes enough for a 9-inch deep dish pie plate, plus some extra to keep for another bake. It keeps for about a week in the fridge tightly wrapped in plastic wrap. For freezer storage, wrap it in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and place it in a Ziploc freezer bag. It will keep in the freezer for 3 months. Side note: you should try this pastry with this easy and delicious ham and Swiss pie. Flaky pastry + ham + cheese = something amazing!
Before you start, make sure to have all your ingredients ready. Both the butter and lard should be cubed in medium-size chunks and must be thoroughly chilled.
Put the flour in a large bowl, then add the salt, cold butter, and cold lard.
With your hands, toss the butter and lard until it is coated in flour. Rub the fats into the flour by pinching the cubes of fat and flour together.
Continue rubbing in the fats until most of the mixture looks like breadcrumbs with some larger lumps of fat still remaining.
Pour in the lemon juice. Don’t add more than 1 teaspoon for 4 cups of flour, or the pastry will taste sour.
Add 1 tablespoon of ice-cold water to the bowl, then fluff the mixture with your fingers to start bringing the ingredients together.
Continue to add cold water a little at a time until the dough comes together. All the flour should be picked up from the bowl, but the dough should not be sticky.
Form the dough into a disk on a clean work surface. Complete blending the lumps of fat and flour together by pushing down the edges of the disk with the palm of your hand.
Gather up the dough into a ball. Cut it into two equal pieces, shape into disks, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour before using. This relaxes the gluten in the dough and firms up the lard and butter.
There you have it: delicious flaky shortcrust pastry in just a few easy steps. Give it a try and let me know your results in the comments section below!Print
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (500g)
- pinch of salt
- 10 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled (150g)
- 1/2 cup lard, chilled (125g)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Few Tbsp. of ice water
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add the cold butter and lard, then rub them into the flour by pinching them with your fingertips. Continue this process until most of the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, but some larger clumps of fat still remain.
- Pour in the lemon juice, and add 1 tablespoon of ice water. Mix with your fingers until the dough starts to come together, then add another tablespoon of ice water. Continue to add water, just a little at a time until all the flour has been picked up and the dough has come together. The dough should not be sticky.
- Turn the dough onto a clean surface. Blend the fat and flour together by flattening down the dough with the palm of your hand several times. This is called fraisage.
- Divide the dough into two disks, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour before using.