Secrets to easily making homemade pastry

Get all the secrets to easy homemade pastry! With these tips and recipes, you'll always have buttery, flaky and flavourful pastry. Discover how to make sweet or savoury shortcrust pastry at home.

In partnership and featuring recipes from Western Star.

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Secrets to easily making homemade pastry

Knowing how to make your own homemade shortcrust pastry is not only easier than you might think, it's also a kitchen skill that’s incredibly rewarding. Especially when you get to showcase your talent to your family and friends.  
Recipes such as quiches, pies and tarts come to life when teamed with beautifully buttery, flaky pastry, so we were excited to receive these tips from the team at Western Star who have shared their secrets to easily making your own great homemade pastry using a food processor, with one savoury pastry recipe and one sweet pastry recipe.

1. Follow the ratios in the recipe

Shortcrust pastry needs the right ratio of fat and flour to get its flaky and crispy texture. Because every recipe is different, it’s important to follow the ingredient measures and cooking instructions to get the best results. Top tip; there can be no freestyling when it comes to making pastry so trust the experts.

2. Use good quality butter

Shortcrust pastry gets its incredible flavour from butter. Good quality butter will ensure your pastry tastes amazing and turns out beautiful and golden.

3. Make sure your butter is very cold

Does cold butter really make a difference to pastry? Yes! Cold butter forms tiny lumps in the flour instead of melting into it. These small lumps eventually form the crisp pockets that give shortcrust pastry its fantastic texture. Dice the butter and keep in the fridge until you are ready to make the pastry.

4. Don’t overwork your pastry dough

Overworking pastry can make the dough difficult to roll, then hard and tough once cooked. How do you avoid overworking your pastry? When making shortcrust pastry in a food processor, use the pulse button. This gives you more control, and you can stop mixing right as the dough comes together then finish by hand. 

5. Rest dough in the fridge before rolling

Resting the dough will make it easier to roll out. It will also give you more time to work with it before the butter in the pastry melts. If the butter melts, you may find the pastry becomes too soft and the texture of the cooked pastry will not be as good.
Classic Quiche Lorraine with a simple homemade pastry
This Classic Quiche Lorraine recipe is made with a savoury shortcrust pastry using only four ingredients. Use it for any of your favourite savoury tart recipes.
Golden Pear Frangipane Tart with quick pastry
Oh so perfect for Winter, this Golden Pear Fragipane Tart recipe has step by step instructions on how to make sweet shortcrust pastry for desserts and tarts, such as fruit tarts or custard tarts. The Frangipane filling originated in France and is loved around the world.
Now you know how to make two fantastic pastry staples for all your sweet and savoury needs, save the recipes so you always have them ready to go.
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