Shortcrust pastry is one of the most widely used pastry bases in Italian pastry-making; mixing methods can vary greatly.
The most common methods are 3:
Creaming Method (Sablée)
- Whipped Method
Let’s have a look at the differences and at the ideal preparations for each method.
First and foremost, let me remind you that all ingredients must be high quality.
The eggs in these recipes are always M-sized:
- 50 g whole egg
- 30 g egg white
- 20 g yolk
This is the most common method; it is used to prepare tarts, pies, tartlets and biscuits.
Low-protein content flour (weak flour) 500g
Egg yolk 100g
Grated lemon zest
Cut the butter into small pieces and let it become soft, then mix it with sugar, add yolk, flavours and salt.
Quickly add the flour and refrigerate the dough for half an hour before using it.
A key point to remember about shortcrust pastry is that we must avoid overworking or overkneading the flour, because even if the flour is low in gluten content (proteins) it becomes too elastic when it comes into contact with liquids (eggs, in this case).
Creaming Method (Sablée)
This system, too, is used to make pies, tarts, tartlets and biscuits.
The ingredients are the same (use your recipe for a perfect pastry).
The creaming – which gives the sandy texture – must be done in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment; it would be too difficult to cream manually.
- Start mixing the flour and the diced butter at medium-low speed (the butter must be just out of the refrigerator, not soft): during this phase flour particles are covered by fat, which makes flour water-resistant.
How do you know when you have reached the perfect “sandy” consistency? You will see that flour and butter are transformed into a mixture similar to sand, (similar to grated cheese, so to say).
- At this point eggs, sugar, flavours and salt are added. Your pastry will be perfectly kneaded in 1 minute (…not literally, of course: please don’t set your timer on one minute!).
I bet some of you are wondering: “Ok, what now? What’s the difference? We’ll let it rest in the fridge like the other shortcrust pastry and at the end of the day it’s just the same thing!”
This shortcrust pastry has a completely different structure from the classic shortcrust pastry:
- it is much more compact
- it does not need refrigeration
- it is much more crumblier than traditional shortcrust pastry
Different ingredients? New recipe? New equipment?
Not at all! Nothing of the sort!
It’s just a different method that will save you precious time and guarantee you amazing results!
This type of shortcrust pastry is used mainly for tea and coffee biscuits, because the high butter content makes it extremely crumbly.
There’s just one extra ingredient: air!
- Low-protein flour (weak flour) 150g
- Starch 50g
- Butter 125g
- Icing sugar 60g
- Egg yolk 40g
- Pinch of salt
- Vanilla bean puree
- Grated lemon zest
Whisk the soft butter in a stand mixer then add the icing sugar. Beat until the mixture becomes creamy and well-whipped, then add the egg yolk and finally combine the flour and the starch.
Use a pastry bag and pipe the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Have a nice dessert!!