Crisp, buttery, and flavorful, this simple vegan shortcrust pastry will be your new plant-based baking staple! No need for dairy, eggs, or egg replacers in this straightforward recipe.
📖 Recipe Overview
- Quick & Convenient - Easy sweet tart dough comes together in less than 10 minutes of active prep time. The pastry dough takes seconds to come together in the food processor so you don't even need to get your hands dirty. 😊
- Easily Prepped Ahead - The pastry can be pre-made a couple of days in advance, making this the perfect base for easy desserts that you can assemble on the day of serving.
- Simple Ingredients - Apart from block-style vegan butter, I'll bet you already have everything you need in your pantry.
- Incredibly Versatile - With so many filling options, you can make a French boulangerie pâtisserie style tart to match seasonal fruits or for special occasions, sure to impress your guests!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
As promised, you only need to grab 5 ingredients to make this dairy-free sweet shortcrust pastry. Here's what to grab:
- Vegan Butter - It is essential to use block-style butter here (buttery sticks). Margarine or vegan butter from a tub will have a higher water-to-fat ratio and this will through off the recipe. I use Flora plant butter or Violife block.
- Non-Dairy Milk - I use soy milk but feel free to swap in whatever plant-based milk you have to hand.
- All-Purpose Flour - Known as plain flour as well. I haven't tried this recipe will gluten-free flour, but if you do give it a go I would suggest attempting it with an all-purpose GF flour, not a single-ingredient GF flour such as almond flour.
- Vanilla Extract - This is completely optional, however, I do like to add a dash when I have some to hand for additional flavor.
🥣 How To Make Shortcrust Pastry Vegan
There are a few steps involved in order to get the perfect vegan shortcrust pastry, but for the most part, your food processor does all the heavy lifting! Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Prepare. Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a round 9" tart pan with some oil or vegan butter, if desired you can also line the base with parchment paper.
Step 2: Mix the dough. Add the flour, vegan butter, sugar, salt, non-dairy milk, and vanilla to a food processor. Blitz until the ingredients are mixed and form a loose dough.
Step 3: Chill. Press the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Step 4: Roll out the dough. Roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin.
Step 5: Transfer the pastry to the tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin.
Step 6: Trim. Use a knife or pastry scissors to cut around the edges, allowing it to rise slightly higher than the sides of the pan.
Step 7: Dock the pastry. Prick the dough several times using a fork. This will help steam escape and bake the tart evenly.
Step 8: Add baking weights. Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Scrunch it up and rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads.
Step 9: Par-bake. Bake for 12-15 minutes then remove the baking beads. At this point, you can either go ahead and further bake the crust so that it is fully blind-baked and ready for fillings such as crème pâtissière. Or, add a filling that needs cooking such as frangipane before continuing to bake.
🍓 Filling Ideas & Variations
There are endless vegan shortcrust pastry filling ideas, here are just some in our arsenal to choose from:
- Fresh Fruit - The buttery pastry is the perfect complement to fresh fruit fillings. Try Strawberry, Raspberry, Rhubarb, or a mixed Fresh Fruit Tart.
- Custard Tart - Fill with homemade Pastry Cream or Lemon Custard. For a baked custard version, try my vegan Tarte Normande.
- Chocolate - Fill it with Whipped Ganache to make the perfect chocolatey dessert.
- Baked Fruit Tarts - Like French Apple Tart, or French Tarte Aux Abricots.
- Mini Fruit Tarts - Make them bite-sized like these Lemon Tartlets.
Absolutely! This recipe makes enough shortcrust dough to give a thin crisp layer in a 9" pan.
If you want to go up to a 12" tart tin or would like a thicker crust, increase the recipe by a quarter.
Store the uncooked pastry in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Wrap the pastry disc tightly with clingfilm, or roll it into the tart tin and wrap it in plastic wrap so it's ready to bake when you need it.
You can also freeze it for up to 2 months. Simply defrost it in the fridge overnight before use.
There is often some confusion around this topic, and these terms are often used interchangeably! In the interest of clarity in this recipe, I've adopted the kitchn's definition and distinguished between the two as follows:
Blind baking refers to the process of fully baking a tart shell without filling. This method is generally used for pastries that require fillings that are later set in the fridge such as custard.
Parbaking involves initially partially baking the crust alone, usually with baking weights to give it a headstart in the cooking process. This helps prevent soggy bottoms! The fillings are then added and the dessert is cooked further according to the recipe instructions.
Absolutely. This recipe is written to follow the "cutting-in method", where the food processor blade cuts the butter into the flour.
If you want to make it without any kitchen equipment you can use the "rubbing-in method". Rub the cubed cold butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Then mix in the wet ingredients until the mixture forms a dough. You *may* need to add a little extra liquid to get the right consistency here, but be careful not to add too much!
🥧 More Vegan Baking Basics
- Preheat oven and prepare pan: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Lightly grease the base and sides of a round 9" tart tin with some oil or vegan butter and lightly dust with flour, if desired you can also line the base with parchment paper.
- Mix and chill the dough: Add the flour, vegan butter, sugar, salt, non-dairy milk, and vanilla to a food processor. Blitz for a few seconds until the ingredients are mixed and form a loose dough. Press the dough into a ball and flatten it into a disc. Wrap in clingfilm or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Roll out the dough: Roll out the chilled dough so that it is an inch or so larger than the circumference of the tart tin. Use the rolling pin to carefully lift the pastry over the tin and use your fingers to gently ease the pastry into the side of the tin. Use a knife or pastry scissors to cut around the edges, allowing it to rise slightly higher than the sides of the pan. Pierce the dough several times using a fork.
- To Parbake (partially baked - fillings cooked in the oven): Take a sheet of parchment paper and cut it into a circle slightly larger than the tart. Rest it on top of the pastry and fill the base with dried beans, rice, lentils, or baking beads. Parbake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the beans/baking beads from the tart. If using a baked filling such as apple tart or apricot tart, follow the directions in that specific recipe for the remaining bake time, otherwise move on to the next step to fully blind-bake the tart shell.
- To Blind-bake (fully baked - fillings set in the fridge): Follow the steps to par-bake the crust above.Return the tart shell to the oven and bake at 175°C (350°F) for another 12-15 minutes until light golden brown. Place the tin on a cooling rack and cool it to room temperature before adding any fillings such as pastry cream or lemon curd. Allow the tart to cool completely before removing it from the tin.
- Storage: Store the uncooked pastry in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Wrap the pastry disc tightly with clingfilm, or roll it into the tart tin and wrap it in plastic wrap so it's ready to bake when you need it.You can also freeze it for up to 2 months. Simply defrost it in the fridge overnight before use.
- Chill your dough. This gives the dough a chance to relax and helps prevent shrinking during baking. It also helps it firm up, making it easier to roll out!
- Snip your pastry slightly higher than the rim of the tart tin. This ensures that there will be plenty of dough in case there is some shrinkage in the oven.
- Dock the pastry to prevent steam from building up between the pastry and tart tin, which can cause the pastry to puff up and bake unevenly.
- Scrunch your parchment. Crinkled-up paper can be eased into every corner, nook, and cranny of your pastry!
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