This is the easiest sweet shortcrust pastry which works for me, with consistent results and no eggs.
This sweet shortcrust pastry is made in a food processor. I have 'hot hands' which melt the butter, this method will also give you a more flakier pastry if you don't over process the butter, and leave it chunkier in the dough. As you roll it out you should see buttery lumps, just roll over them, and they'll make the pastry flakier.
Sweet short crust pastry- Pate sucree
3 ¾ cups plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons sugar
375g unsalted cold butter cut into small cubes
½ cup to ¾ cup ice cold water (I usually add a few ice blocks into the water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Using a food processor fitted with a metal blade, place flour and salt into bowl. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. It is okay if there are some butter bits still chunky, this will contribute to the flakiness of the pastry when you roll it.
Add the ice water slowly, a bit at a time, just until the dough starts to come together. Do not over process at this time or you will make the pastry very elastic. Test the pastry to see if it sticks together between your fingers, if not, add a bit more water. Some days you may use more or less water, depending on the humidity.
Place a large piece of cling film on your bench top. Tip crumbly dough onto it and draw up the sides of the cling wrap around it, pushing down as you go to to create a large flat disc. You could make two discs if you like. Place in the refrigerator and allow to rest for at least an hour. I have left this over night, and it is okay the next morning- also you can freeze the pastry at this stage and use at another time.
This recipe goes great with Apple or fruit pies. Do you have an easy sweet shortcrust pastry recipe? I'd really love to know, I'm always looking to improve my recipe.