We can’t even tell you how pleased we are with this shortcrust pastry. It’s perfect! Flaky, buttery and adaptable for sweet and savoury fillings.
Prep: 30 minutes | Cook: 30-50 minutes | Serves: 8
Perfect shortcrust pastry is a much-coveted cookery skill. But, for such a valued technique, it can be surprisingly tricky to master, especially in plant-based baking. Never fear! We’ve teamed up with Michael James from Melbourne’s Tivoli Road Bakery to prepare a plant-based recipe that puts every pastry problem you’ve ever encountered in the past. Say goodbye to tough, soggy and downright sad pastry. And give a warm welcome to the kind that crumbles and flakes on your plate and can hold and deliver its filling — sweet, savoury, soft, or firm.
The ingredients are simple, and the method unembellished. Michael substituted traditional binding agents (eggs and butter) with our smooth, velvety vegan butter to achieve a plant-based pastry that rivals the classics. Seriously! It has a delicate nutty flavour and is easily adapted to suit your needs. For a gluten-free shortcrust, use your favourite GF flour blend and add slightly less milk. GF flours tend to absorb liquid more readily, so you should only need 40-45ml instead of 90ml.
We used powdered icing sugar to create a light and crispy crust for sweet treats such as tarts, danishes, and this glorious Cherry and Pistachio Galette. Powdered icing sugar yields a more tender crust due to the presence of starch while granulated sugars produce a more crumbly pastry.
If you’re not a fan of processed icing sugar, virtually any powdered alternative will do the trick. Organic maple sugar, coconut sugar or raw turbinado are great options. Simply place 50 grams of your chosen granulated sugar into a blender along with one tablespoon of starch, such as arrowroot, tapioca or cornstarch. After just 30 seconds of blending, you’ll have a healthier alternative to icing sugar.
You can also adapt this recipe for savoury pastries. Simply replace the icing sugar with 25 grams of plain flour, 5 grams of nutritional yeast flakes and a teaspoon of turmeric. The combination of nutritional yeast and turmeric will impart a cheesy, parmesan flavour. Plus an extra hit of protein and immune-boosting B vitamins.
Tip: Amp up the fibre content by substituting whole grains for 50% of the plain white flour. We love these wholesome gluten-free varieties: buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, linseed meal and brown rice flour.