About shortcrust pastry Edit
Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-raising flour, however. Shortcrust pastry can be used to make both sweet and savory pies such as apple pie, quiche, lemon meringue or chicken pie.
A pastry crust made with a higher proportion of fat and contains no raising agent to make it rise and expand during baking. 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. One of the simplest of all crusts to make, short crusts are made by rubbing chilled fat (butter, lard, or margarine) into flour mixed with salt to create a fine-crumb texture that has a breadcrumb appearance. If the dough falls apart easily, it is due to the amount of heat allowed to enter the dough, most often due to kneading too long. The dough can be placed in the refrigerator to cool or a small amount of cold water can be added to reduce the temperature of the dough and allow it to be worked longer. Working the dough too long however, will result in a crust that becomes too firm after baking. After being worked, the dough can be placed in the refrigerator to keep it cool and allow it to rest for 12 hours or so, but no longer than 2 days. If the short crust needs to be drier in consistency, add an egg white to the dough mixture or if a more moist crust is desired add a little water. Short crusts are typically used for making pies, tarts, turnovers, and small wafer cookies.
It is based on a "half-fat-to-flour" ratio. Fat (lard, shortening, butter or full-fat margarine) is rubbed into plain flour to create a loose mixture that is then bound using a small amount of ice water, rolled out, then shaped and placed to create the top or bottom of a flan or pie. Ideally, equal amounts of butter and lard are used to make the pastry, ensuring that the ratio of the two fat products is half that of the flour. The butter is employed to give the pastry a rich flavor, whilst the lard ensures optimum texture.
Sweet pastry Edit
Sweetcrust pastry is made with the addition of sugar, which sweetens the mix and impedes the gluten strands, creating a pastry that breaks up easily in the mouth.