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Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method)

Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method)

This foolproof recipe allows you to make flaky shortcrust pastry in seconds by using a food processor. Sweet, savory, and whole-wheat variations included!

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

This post contains affiliate links. Full disclosure is at the bottom of the article.

For years, I was wary of making pie crusts from scratch. Everything about the process annoyed me: my attempted crusts would be too dry or too wet, they would crack badly when I rolled them out or upon baking, or they would turn out dry or tasteless—never flaky and delightfully buttery—no matter the amount of butter I used.

Part of it was inexperience: I’d never properly learned to make shortcrust pastry, so I didn’t know what to look for. No matter how many recipes I tested, (which all repeated the same advice over and over again—don’t cut out the butter too small, don’t overwork the dough, let it rest), it seemed like I couldn’t master the task. I would’ve gladly resorted to buying pre-made pie dough, except I couldn’t find 100% butter pastry where I live. So, for the longest time, I didn’t make pies at all. A tragedy, right?

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

A few years ago, I decided I’d tackle the task once and for all. If I’d mastered finicky things such as macarons and éclairs, surely I could make simple, humble pie dough, right? I went back to my reference books and truly applied myself to the task. I took notes of what worked best for me and tweaked my recipe until I got it down to a science. Now, I can make it with my eyes closed, and the recipe never fails. Ever.

But let’s start at the base: what is shortcrust pastry, exactly? You can use different types of dough to make pies, but shortcrust pastry, also called short pastry or pâte brisée, is probably the most versatile. You can use shortcrust pastry to make both savory and sweet pies and tarts: it’s a supple dough you can roll out to line pie plates and flute to create pretty edges, fold up and over fillings to create free-form galettes, or cut out to weave lattice patterns.

Basic pie dough uses flour, butter, and water at an approximate 3:2:1 ratio. Shortcrust pastry also includes an egg, which makes the dough more supple and easier to roll out. Most recipes will instruct you to keep large pieces of butter in the dough (pea-sized, or even larger), which produces the flakiest pastry. In my experience, this produces a dough that’s more fragile, stickier, and harder to work with. I prefer blending the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs, which creates a sturdier dough that’s still super flaky but holds any and all kinds of fillings well, including juicy fruity ones.

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

This food processor method for making shortcrust pastry is perfect if you’re:

  • a pie-crust novice (like I used to be)
  • lazy (like me) or
  • in a hurry (like I pretty much always am)

A food processor allows you to control the shortcrust-making process, giving you a consistent result, every time. It also considerably shortcuts your way to homemade pie dough. My recipe produces perfect shortcrust pastry in less than a minute. Really! I’ve carefully timed how long you should run the food processor at each step, providing the exact time in seconds. This recipe will never fail you: I now routinely make this shortcrust pastry with my son, allowing him to count the seconds in between the steps, and it works, every time.

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

Learning how to make shortcrust pastry in the food processor is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the looks and texture of “proper” pastry. Making shortcrust pastry by hand introduces so many uncertainties: the result will vary according to the temperature of your hands, that of your working surface, the tool you’re using, and so on. Because a food processor allows you to produce consistent results, you’ll see and feel the pastry as it should be. In time, you’ll be able to go back to the hand method if you want to, and enjoy that relaxing feeling you get when you make things from scratch.

My shortcrust pastry recipe includes options to make whole-wheat crusts—great for savory galettes and quiches—and sweet crusts, for desserts. It has now been my go-to crust for years, and it never fails me. If you’ve been shying away from making pie crusts from scratch, or unsatisfied with the recipe(s) you currently use, I hope you’ll give my shortcrust pastry a try. It will surely make you more confident in the pies you make—and happier with the results!

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

Helpful Tips to Make Perfect Shortcrust Pastry

  • Keep butter and water cold—ice cold: This is crucial: the butter and water you use should in this recipe should be very cold—not room temperature, not cold from the fridge, *ice cold*. Ice-cold butter better distributes into the flour, and ice-cold water allows the dough to come together without melting the butter, both of which are key to producing tender, flaky dough.
    • To make ice-cold water, simply pour a bit of water in a small bowl, then fill it with ice. The water will be cold enough to use a minute or two later.
    • To make ice-cold butter, cut it into cubes, spread the cubes over a small plate, then plate it in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Shortcut your way to shortcrust: Keep portions of pre-cubed butter stored in airtight containers in the freezer. Whenever I want to make a pie crust, no need to wait 20 minutes for the butter to cool—I simply take out a container of frozen butter cubes and add it straight to the food processor. I prefer this to freezing shortcrust pastry because mixing a fresh batch of dough with frozen butter is much, much quicker than letting shortcrust pastry thaw to room temperature.
  • Be accurate: This shortcrust recipe works, but only if you’re counting accurately. You’re literally seconds away from under- or overmixing the dough, so make sure to concentrate. If needed, look at your watch or use the stopwatch function of your phone to time things accurately.
  • Roll it out now, not later: If you’ve long been frustrated by cracking dough, I feel you. Freshly made shortcrust pastry needs time to rest in the fridge before baking (at least one hour), which lengthens the dough-making process, as you need to properly let the dough come back to room temperature before you roll it out (30–-45 minutes.) Here’s how to fast-forward your way to homemade pie crust: roll the dough out *before* you refrigerate it. I picked up this game-changing tip from Parisian cookbook writer Clotilde Dusoulier: when shortcrust pastry is freshly made—that is, straight out of the food processor—it is wonderfully supple, just like brand new Play-Doh is. This makes rolling it out really easy and fun. After you’ve gathered the dough into a ball, lightly sprinkle your working surface and rolling pin with flour, then roll out the dough to the desired shape and size. Ease into the pan you want to use, letting the excess overhang, or spread it out on a baking sheet. Refrigerate, then bring back to room temperature 10 minutes before trimming, filling, or shaping the dough.

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

This recipe was previously published in my cookbook French Appetizers, in which you’ll find many delicious ways to make the most of this shortcrust pastry. Learn more about French Appetizers, or buy your copy now!

French Appetizers: Modern Bites for a French-Inspired Happy Hour, by Marie Asselin

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

How to Make Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method) //

Foolproof Shortcrust Pastry (Food Processor Method)

This foolproof recipe allows you to make flaky shortcrust pastry in seconds by using a food processor. Sweet, savory, and whole-wheat variations included!
Prep Time:10 mins
Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
Servings 1 crust (enough for 1 large tart or pie, 1 galette, or 18 mini tarts)
Author Marie Asselin,



  • Cut the butter into small cubes and arrange on a small plate. Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Add the flour and salt to a food processor, then pulse to combine. Add the butter and process for 10 continuous seconds, until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
  • Add the egg and process for 5 seconds. Add the ice water and process for 20 seconds. The dough should now start clumping together. Turn the mixture out onto a work surface. The mixture will easily hold together when pressed. Using your hands, gather the dough into a ball then flatten into a disk, kneading it as lightly as possible.
  • If you’re making shortcrust pastry right before you need to use it, gather it into a disk, set it on a lightly floured surface, and roll it out to the required size. Ease into a pie or tart pan, lay flat on a baking sheet, or cut out and fit into muffin pans if making tartlets. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Use as instructed by the recipe.
  • You can alternatively wrap the ball of shortcrust pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 3 days, or freeze for 1 month.
  • Bring refrigerated shortcrust pastry back to room temperature at least 30 minutes before rolling. Thaw frozen shortcrust pastry overnight in the refrigerator, then bring back to room temperature at least 30 minutes before rolling.


  • Whole-wheat shortcrust pastry: Instead of the full amount of all-purpose flour specified in the recipe above, use 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour and ½ (65 g) whole wheat flour.
  • Sweet shortcrust pastry for desserts: Add 1 tablespoon (12 g / 15 ml) granulated sugar to the flour mixture.

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Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins


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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Perfect shortcrust pastry at last! For years, decades actually, I’ve laboured diligently making homemade shortcrust pastry but too often it was too flaky & impossible to keep intact or it was hard as flint. Fed up with unpredictable results, I settled on buying the best ready rolled sc available. Nice but very expensive. Your recipe is simple, easy to follow & produces a truly wonderful pastry. Thank you.

    • Denise, comments like yours are why I keep doing what I do! Thank you for taking the time to write! 🤗 This shortcrust was life-changing for me and I’m happy and excited to learn it was for you, too. I’d be curious to know what pies and tarts you make with it, feel free to report back!

  2. Question. On the whole-wheat variation, is it 2/3 all-time purpose flour and 1/3 whole-wheat, or vice versa? This is not clear. Please reply. Thank you.

  3. 5 stars
    This foolproof recipe was awesome! It made it so easy and turned out perfect. This recipe is a keeper! Have a great day.

    • Before I came up with this foolproof version of shortcrust pastry, making pastry from scratch had always been a project for me! This means I *never* made it from scratch. This pastry changed everything! Happy it’s being useful and helpful to you too.

  4. 5 stars
    This shortcrust pastry is such a lifesaver and just in time for the upcoming holidays! Will definitely be referring to it over and over again!

  5. I just made a tart crust (pate sucree) in the food processor last week and it was game changing! Speeds up the whole process, keeps everything cold and the end result was spectacular. I love that this recipe is for a more universal dough, so I will most certainly bookmarking this and using it for my next pie.

    • Yes, I use this pastry for both sweet and savory pies. Sometimes I forget the tablespoonful of sugar to make it a sweet shortcrust and to be honest, it really doesn’t matter that much! It’s just so good on its own, it goes with any and every filling.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m so glad I came across this blog post. I have been looking for ways to troubleshoot my pie crusts. I will try to implement your tips next time I make one. I also love the fact that you used eggs. It provides the dough with structure and definitely makes it easier to hand.

  7. Shortcrust is one of my favorite easy pastry doughs to make, and this recipe sounds like a real winner! And thanks for the great tip on keeping butter cubes in the freezer. Genius!

  8. 5 stars
    Extremely easy! I followed the instructions to the letter, timing the blitzing of flour and butter and the result was excellent, really delicious short buttery pastry. Will use this method from now on, thank you!

    • Yay Susie, reading your comment makes me so happy! This shortcrust pastry opened up the world of tarts and pies to me, which is why I’m so excited when others adopt the recipe, too.

  9. Hi,

    What blade us better to use in the processor, I have the metal one, but also a plastic one. I’m new with pastry and am struggling big time



  10. I am originally from South Africa but have called Canada home for over 35 years. Some thing I miss dearly are hand held savoury meat pies that are sold warm at every street corner and corner shop and sporting event not just in South Africa but also in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It seems like a macho guy thing in all these countries to be able to make your own meat pies at home and there are tons of YouTube videos on this. They almost all “cheat” and use store-bought frozen short crust pastry for the container base and puff pastry for the lid. Unfortunately I have never been able to find frozen short crust pastry and the frozen puff pastry does not work for the base.

    I tried your recipe with the food processor and the specific metric measurements ( thank you ) and the pastry and my pies turned out awesome! Thank you again.

    My Canadian wife likes my pies as well but keeps complaining about the filling and wants me to change it up. I’m not sure why she hasn’t taken to steak and kidney!

    • Hi Joe! It was so fun to read your story. I’m aware of the popularity of meat pies in SA, AU, and NZ (mainly through the Australian TV shows I love watching!). A few years ago, there was an Aussie meat pie food truck in Montreal and I remember noticing the two burly guys that were in charge of that truck :) I have to say I’ve never made them myself but I’m excited to learn my shortcrust pastry has worked out for you. One of the things I love about this shortcrust pastry is that it’s sturdy and isn’t fussy to manipulate, which means it’s great to form different shapes of pies. I’d love to see a photo of your meat pies, if you’re ever on Instagram or Facebook and want to share them, please do!

      As for the filling, hehe I’m sure you will come up with one both you and your wife will love ;) Thanks for writing!

  11. Going to try this . Something new which I never did is to freeze my butter thank you. Can’t wait to see the texture.

  12. Thank you,so very much, for sharing this. Now,I can make my own pie crust…This is a big deal! Thank you,thank you thank you!

  13. Hi Marie, I like the idea of your easy (beginners) pastry. I am thinking of venturing into making pies for the first time. Just wondering, your ingredients list measures flour in ml, could you advise how you would convert that to grams please. Thank you, Catherine

    • Hey Catherine! I’m currently in the process of updating most of my recipes to add metric measurements, which are of course especially useful for baking. I just updated this Shortcrust Pastry recipe, I hope the additional information will be useful to you! Happy baking!

  14. I am 61 years old next week and have been told by my lovely friends and family that I am a superb cook. ( Blushes modestly ) Shortcrust pastry has always been my Nemesis and decided some time ago that I was never going to master this craft. Shrinking ( Pizza anyone ? ) , too tough, too crumbly.

    I have sought help so many times and they all just fail. Today I produced the perfect blind baked, pastry case. Thank you so much, all of my birthdays have come at once… There is no stopping me now….

    • Your comment made me so happy Jane! I shared your pastry frustrations for years–until I came up with this formula. So excited to know I’ve helped you acquire a new skill! Here’s to many delicious pies to come!